Thursday, 1 February 2018

The Big Leagues

According to the latest School League Tables, Hamsptead's Sixth Form is ranked highest in Camden for progress, with the Lower School ranking as average.

Although Hampstead's A Level Results for 2017 were an improvement on 2014, 2015 and 2016's results, they were largely worse than, or merely equal to, 2013's A Level results, as The Trash reported here. Although League Tables give Hampstead's Sixth Form a favorable position when ranked by progress, the superficiality of ranking in this way becomes apparent when attainment across all Camden Sixth Forms is taken into consideration:

Hampstead's AAB + attainment is half the 4th ranked (in terms of AAB + attainment), a quarter of the third, a sixth of the first and second Sixth Forms. Furthermore, the average A Level Grade at Hampstead is a C, whereas one other school in Camden has a B+ average, and two have A- averages.

Unlike the Sixth Form however, Hampstead only ranks as average for progress as a Secondary School, suggesting that whatever resources and effort are going into the Sixth Form are not equally being put into the Lower School, which is undoubtedly serious cause for concern. 

While The Trash is frequently opposed to the obsessive preoccupation with statistical measures and League Tables that increasingly defines Education, we engage with statistics to show precisely how deceptive and illusory they can be when taken at face value. The above average progress which the Sixth Form can claim cannot likewise be claimed by the Lower School, and is not in fact matched by above average attainment in the Sixth Form. While exam performance should not be the only measure of a school's capacity to educate, as The Trash has frequently argued, in the current economic climate, and with the general intensification of competition throughout education and employment, it is simply irresponsible for the School's Management to pass off this year's League Table standings as a sign of success.

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