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Education and learning

Lambeth schools achieve outstanding academic success

Groundbreaking research which highlight the reasons behind how young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Lambeth have gone on to achieve outstanding GCSE results, has been published by Lambeth Council.

Commissioned by Lambeth Council’s Children and Young People’s Service, the pioneering research will be circulated to schools throughout the country to provide practical tips to help raise achievement for all pupils.

The reports examine various factors behind the consistently high academic results enjoyed by pupils from four Lambeth secondary schools – La Retraite RC High School, Stockwell Park High School, Dunraven School, and St Martin-in-the-Fields High School.

The findings are published in a series of two research reports -‘Outstanding Schools: A Study of Successful Practice’ and ‘Raising Achievement: Good Practice in Schools with Outstanding Leadership’.

The key criteria for the selection of the schools was a high proportion of pupils who are eligible for free school meals, an ‘outstanding’ grade in leadership in the most recent Ofsted inspections, and a high standard and sustained improvement of GCSE results over the past nine years.

The research shows that despite challenging circumstances, GCSE results have improved across all four case study schools – from an average of 33 per cent of pupils achieving 5+ A*-C grades in 2000 to a staggering average of 82 per cent achieving 5+ A*-C grades in 2009 – an improvement rate of 49 per cent compared to the national average of 21 per cent.

La Retraite RC High School’s results soared from 56 per cent 5+ A*-C GSCE passes to 94 per cent in the same period, and at Stockwell Park High School GCSE passes rose from 11 per cent to 73 per cent – despite three quarters of all pupils coming from disadvantaged and challenging backgrounds.

The report reveals that the main reasons for such outstanding levels of academic achievement lie within: outstanding leadership, outstanding teaching by consistently high-quality staff who show great commitment and passion, a strong and caring ethos and commitment to the children from all staff, effective use of data to monitor performance and to identify underachieving groups, a strong link with the community and a clear commitment to parental involvement.

In addition each of the schools have devised innovative methods to help young people who face huge challenges by adopting a range of strategies and targeted support including learning mentors and teaching assistants.

Councilllor Pete Robbins, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, said: “This report celebrates good practice in Lambeth schools, including the rich array of strategies to raise achievement. I am proud that these four schools have been recognised as providing an outstanding education for children in Lambeth. It reflects a continuing picture of improving schools in Lambeth I hope that other schools across the UK will find it a valuable resource in ensuring progress for all pupils.”

Read the report

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