Family & Education

Jewish schools top new GCSE charts


Jewish schools are the best-performing group of state schools at GCSE, according to new data released by the Department for Education this month.

Pupils at the 11 state-aided Jewish schools in England that took exams scored an average of 60.2 points under the new Attainment 8 measure released last week - almost 10 points more than the national average.

Muslim schools came next with 58.8 points, Sikh 57.5, Roman Catholic 52.5, Church of England 51.5, secular schools 50.4. The national average for state schools in England including academies (but excluding special schools) was 50.6.

Attainment 8 takes into account one English and maths GCSE, which count double, a pupil's three best GCSE results in more traditional academic subjects such as history or science and then three more of their best GCSE scores.

Jewish school pupils also topped the table for the numbers who passed GCSE English and maths at A* to C with 82.1 per cent achieving that target; Muslim schools came next at 81.8 per cent and Sikhs 72.2 per cent -compared with a national average of 63.8 per cent.

Pupils at Jewish schools scored almost 10 points more than the average

Although Muslims are the biggest non-Christian majority in England, the number of children in Muslim secondary state schools is, at only 672, roughly half that in Jewish schools, 1,316.

When it comes to the English Baccalaureate mark, Jewish schools do less well with fewer than half of pupils achieving it at 41.8 per cent. Muslim, schools top the EBacc table with 50.4 per cent, followed by Sikhs 48.9 per cent - compared with a national average of 24.9 per cent.

EBacc consists of English, maths, a foreign language, two science and history or geography GCSEs passed at C or above.

Muslims schools were also the best performing for the new Progress 8 measure, which evaluates how much progress pupils made at GCSE considering their ability on entry.

Muslim schools scored 0.79 on the new Progress measure, with Jewish schools second on 0.45 and Sikh on 0.35.

The next best were Catholic schools at 0.08, then Church of England with 0.02, while secular schools were on 0.01 - just below average.

In effect, pupils at Jewish schools were achieving nearly half a grade higher at GCSE than might have been predicted when they started secondary school.

The new Attainment 8 is considered a broader and fairer indication of performance than the previous yardstick used in school tables of five GCSEs including maths and English passed at A*-C.

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