The latest government performance tables for A-level and GCSE show that Jewish schools across the board are continuing to do well.
Hasmonean High in north-west London, Immanuel College in Bushey and King David Liverpool recorded particularly good results in 2013, while King David Manchester and London’s JFS also maintained their strong academic reputation.
“We are very proud of our achievements,” said Hasmonean executive head Rabbi David Meyer. “It is the second year that Hasmonean has come top in the country for non-selective comprehensive schools at GCSE, based on a variety of criteria including the number of A-stars and As. There is consistency in our success.”
Hasmonean has also been ranked in the top one per cent of more than 1,200 schools at A-level by the independent evaluation organisation, Alps (A-level Performance System).
“One of the things people assume is that teaching Jewish studies detracts from success,” Rabbi Meyer said. “We feel the opposite.The ethos and direction we give pupils in their Jewish studies helps them in their focus and desire to achieve in secular studies.
“Jewish schools are competing with private schools. Parents can select a Jewish education which goes hand-in-hand with top-quality secular education. This sends a strong message to the community.”
King David Liverpool received congratulations from Schools Minister David Laws for GCSE results making it “one of the top 100 performing non-selective state schools in England”, based on the percentage of pupils gaining at least five GSCEs, including maths and English, at C grade or above.
Its performance was a “shining testament” to the staff, the minister said.
JFS head Jonathan Miller said that “being recognised as the seventh best performing school in the country at A-level by Alps is something for which we are rightly proud. It is testament to the efforts of our students and the tremendous dedication and professionalism of our staff.
“Consistently appearing in the top one per cent of schools is indicative of the exceptional educational opportunities available at JFS. This has been further confirmed with a record number of Oxbridge offers being received by our current year 13 students.”
Joshua Rowe, chairman of King David in Manchester, said that from the local borough results, “one sees that pupil for pupil, the results are at least equal to those achieved by schools in the independent sector. This means that parents seeking excellence can confidently send their children to our school without compromising their demanding standards.”
The newly published material contains a wealth of data for parents, too detailed to be presented here.
Most of the Jewish state-aided schools score well above average in their “value-added” figure, which indicates how far above expectations pupils have performed at GCSE given their ability on entry.
Pupils make particularly good progress in the sixth-form at JFS.
Academic strength can also be measured by the percentages of pupils obtaining at least two As and a B at A-level in academic subjects preferred by the leading universities. The scores are particularly high for two small London Orthodox schools, Menorah High and Menorah Grammar, although with fewer than 20 A-level candidates, they cannot be compared with much larger schools.
The tables also show that Charedi girls’ schools continue to provide a solid secular education at GCSE, although most do not teach a broad enough curriculum to enable pupils to qualify for Ebacc status (English Baccalaureate).