School performance update - Schools Minister joins Ofsted in congratulating LPA on GCSE results
Schools Minister David Laws MP has written to the school to praise both the quality of education we provide for disadvantaged pupils and the improvement in GCSE results since 2011. According to the letter, LPA is in the top 90 schools nationally for showing sustained improvement in GCSE results and the Minister offers his congratulations to staff, governors, parents and pupils for their hard work and success. Read the full letter here.
Lydiard Park Academy tops school performance tables
Although there has been much controversy about the school performance tables that were released at the end of January, one thing is not in any doubt - pupils at Lydiard Park Academy did exceptionally well in their GCSEs in 2014 compared to other schools locally and nationally. The table that matters most to those who understand education is pupil progress, as this measure doesn't depend on the area you serve and measures how fast pupils have progressed during their five years up to GCSE, regardless of starting point. On this measure Lydiard Park Academy is the top school in Swindon and, of all the secondary schools in a 15 mile radius, is only narrowly pipped into second place by a Cirencester school.
Doing well with all pupils, regardless of ability, gender or background
LPA's motto is 'Potential into Performance' and it really matters to us that all pupils make as much progress as they can. Consequently we are very pleased to be able to report that:
1. Pupils in all three of the government's three ability bands (upper, middle, lower) made the most progress of any school in Swindon.
2. Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds made the most progress in Swindon and, more importantly, made as much progress as an 'average' pupil nationally.
3. Boys did just as well as girls (in contrast to the national picture).
4. The Department of Education's 'similar schools' data suggests that there isn't a school similar in key characteristics to LPA within a 75 mile radius where students are making more progress.
Regional recognition for the performance of our more able pupils
The results of our more able pupils were significantly above what would be expected in an 'average' school, and this has led to LPA being asked to share the good practice it has developed (through our Gifted & Talented Academy Programme and link with the Villiers Park Trust) at a regional conference to be held in March. In 2014 over 70% of our more able pupils achieved final GCSE grades that included at least 3 A or A* grades (compared to around 60% nationally) and nearly 60% of these pupils achieved five or more top GCSE grades (compared to just over 40% nationally). We also had three students who achieved 10 or more A* grades amongst their results.
Availability of spaces
I've been getting lots of enquiries from parents asking whether we have space left in particular year groups. As existing parents will be aware, we have become a very popular choice in recent years and, despite increasing our intake numbers as far as we can, are full in some year groups. We do still, however, have some places left for pupils currently of Year 9 age, who might be considering where is the best place to take their GCSEs and, potentially, from there through to A levels in our new Sixth Form. Please contact the school if you wish to enquire further.
Mr. C. Zimmerman