Some of you will have been surprised at an article about league tables and exam results for 2014 that appeared in the Clacton and Frinton Gazette last Thursday that gave our 5A* to C including English and Maths as 47%. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get back to the press to remind them that this published result in the league tables was for first entry and in our case it was for exams taken by that year group in the year earlier, not the Summer of 2014.
The Government changed their method of accountability in the middle of the academic year and schools, the majority of whom followed an early entry policy to give students a practice run before the Summer exams, had to decide whether they should continue with the policy of all students being entered early, no students being entered early or some students being entered early. Many schools withdrew their students from early entry so that the results in the league table looked more favourable.
We took the decision to continue the early entry for all students because we believed that as they had been preparing for those exams it was wrong to change those plans just so we looked better in the league tables. The results tables for 2014 are meaningless as no accurate comparison can be made between performance of different schools nor between the year on year performance of an individual school. These anomalies will continue as the accountability measures work their way through the system, e.g. some schools will have had excellent results in Science this year because all of their students study BTEC Science but this will not be an option in the future if those results are to feature in their accountability measures. To get more of a flavour of the complexity of the changes in Education go to the DfE website and search for "reforms to Secondary Accountability". My thanks to Tracy Hemming, Headteacher of Clacton Coastal Academy who explained some of this in her part of the article.
Thank you to all those parents who attended the safer internet evening led by Detective Sergeant Woodley and Detective Sergeant Staines. The session was a real eye opener for all of us who were there. We will be following this up in College with discussions in tutor groups. It is really important that you talk to your children about the issues around sights such as Snap Chat, who can see you when you are using the web cam and who you are chatting to when you are gaming etc.
One of the main issues affecting children today is the sharing of private/personal information.
The following video shows just how much information can be accessed online through social media and how this can be used by predators online.
This second video focuses further on privacy settings and ensuring that content is not left open for everyone to view.
The following websites are always a good source of information and could also be used as a further base for discussion or research:
I strongly advise all parents to watch these videos and then watch them with your children. Access to children by predators has reached epidemic levels and we need to educate our children how to stay safe. It is not about taking access away. That will not work. If you need any support on this matter please do not hesitate to contact us.