Sunday, 10 November 2013

Management Make False Claims about School's Improvement say New Statistics

A booklet containing Statistics on Hampstead that was given to prospective parents alongside the School very nicely (*cough*expensively*cough*) printed Prospectuses has shown that the large claims made on large banners and large speeches (overly large) by the Head of improvement in the school may not be entirely truthful or relevant.

The first Graph, that shows percentage of students getting 5 A*-C's including English and Maths in their GCSE's, claims to show that there has been a 5 Year Trend (by drawing a wonky line across it; A* IT skills there), which is true. If we were in 2012. The 5 Year Trend Admiral General Scubadivekowski is so glad to bang on about is only relevant for 2012, when we beat the previous year's score of 61% with 63%. However, this year (2013, for the SLT that can't count, or have taken so many confiscated narcotics that everything is a blur) the School scored 63%, meaning that there was no upward trend for this year, and no improvement. This makes the massive banner, that has wasted part of the school budget, on the front of the school libellous, with the claim that 2013 has the best results for the 5th year running. It doesn't. We can understand that Professor Umbridge's change to make grade boundaries higher may have hampered the success of 2013 (and we here at the Trash are royally pissed off at him for that), but you don't boast that you are 'bucking the national trend' if you just simply aren't.

The second Graph in the booklet is more astoundingly poor, showing a non-existent '5 Year Trend' in 5 A* - C in general in GCSE's again, despite there being data for six years on the graph (We know we rarely spellcheck, but you think the school would at least re-read what they had written. Had they learnt nothing from that extra thirty minutes at the end of an exam?). The scores of the graph seem to follow a pattern of one up one down, going up from the previous year in 2009, 2010 and 2013, but down again for the years 2008, 2010 and 2012. Now, the next percentage of either a down year or an up year never goes below the previous, which shows that there is some form of improvement, but it should be steady and not so erratic.

We are not entirely sure how they managed to glean a '5 Year Trend' out of the next Graph, especially when the numbers for the six years (again) are so incongruent. According to said Graph, the percentage of students getting 5 A*-G was 92% for both 2008 and 2009, then it jumps to 95% for 2010 and 2011, then it drops again to 93% for 2012 and finally up to 96% in 2013. There is no upward pattern as far as we can see, and the numbers are even more erratic than those of the previous graph.

For the next graph we have only three words for the Management, as well as whoever compiled the data: Four Year Trend. Four. Year. Trend. This Graph shows average points scored, and this, like all those previous, claims to have a 5 Year Trend and, like all those previous, has data from six years and a random line running through it. It is true that there is a Four Year Trend from 2008 to 2011, however, in 2012 the average fell. It did then rise again in 2013, which we should be proud of (if you think being on average less crap than before is a good thing), but there is no 5 Year Trend.

Moving on to the statistics for Sixth Form and A-Levels, we can see that there has been a three year downward trend (or 5 Year Trend if you are the SLT) from 2011 to 2013 of average UCAS points scored. Now, seeing that the pass rates of A-Levels has not had much change, we must infer from the data that the loss of UCAS points is down to a loss of the only other main channel of gaining UCAS points: Extracurricular activities. We now have physical evidence that draws a link between the lack of extracurricular activities in recent years and students' educations suffering.

In the other data on A-Levels, very little has changed. Alps grades have stayed relatively static for the past five years, as well as general pass rates. The only change of any note is the 2% drop in sixth formers' getting grades A-E this year, meaning that this year is the first year in five that 2% of the sixth form failed their A-Levels.

Also supplied in the little booklet of home truths was a table showing additional information on the school, including a budget breakdown. We decided to get our Chief Mathematician, Abbey Cous to put her F* in Maths to work, and we found that, when we took away all the expenditures of the school from the Total Budget and Expected Income, we found there was an excess of £485,000. Where is all this money going? Why aren't we seeing this money? That money is enough to pay for a thousand trips. Then we factored in the £495,000 reserve, which meant that Hampstead has a shortfall of £10,000. In short, either there is £485,000 per anum unaccounted for or the Management can't add up by a degree of ten thousand, which is poor since they run a school.

Also in this little table of shaky maths was the statistic that 100% of post-16 students were staying in education or training. And the No S**t Sherlock award goes to whoever thought putting that down was clever. As of this year, students past year 11 are legally obliged to stay in further education or training for at least one year. That fact is not making the school look good, its just making it look legal.

What we're saying here is if you're going to put a massive banner up (which we don't agree with doing in the first place) at least make it factually correct, or at least relevant to the year in which it was erected. We know looking good and uniform are the only two things the Decapitated Head cares about anally, but there just isn't the improvement he keeps talking about. True, there is improvement in Hampstead, but we would like to think that is down to the great teaching that takes place inside our school walls, not the fact the Head is up his own arse about blazers and banners.

To view the graphs and tables alluded to in this article, see below:

Management making good use of Microsoft Excel and
the IT Department's lunchtimes

This one looks like a Total Wipeout course

Just a random line on a Bar Chart

Four. Year. Trend.
Downward Trend and Little Change

Always check the small print: these numbers just don't add up.
DISCLAIMER: This Hampstead Trash article has been written to critique the actions of the governing bodies of the school. This is so student readers can hear both sides of the argument, and formulate their own opinions on matters pertaining to their education.

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