The 2018 School Performance Tables were published recently and I would like to put into context what you will see when you look at the entry for Forest Hill School. I am acutely aware that school performance data can sometimes be confusing, and looking at raw numbers without some background can give a misleading picture.
‘Progress 8’ measures the progress made between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 by pupils in a school. Our Progress 8 figure in 2018 is a massive improvement on that of 2017. I said at the time that our 2017 performance was unacceptably low, affected as it was by the extensive strike action which we experienced in the academic year 2016-17. We committed to a rapid improvement following the 2017 results and the Ofsted inspection of December that year.
Our 2018 performance, although not where we ultimately want to be, represents an excellent first step on our improvement journey and we are ambitious that this trend is maintained. I am sure you are aware that girls have outperformed boys at GCSE for many years. This remains the case. As a result, the national Progress 8 figure for girls is positive and that for boys is negative.
Our Progress 8 figure for 2018 it is broadly in line with the national figure for boys, showing a significant increase from 2017. When we examine more local data, our 2018 Progress 8 is well ahead of the average for boys in Lewisham.
This improvement is something we are confident will continue in the future, with our predicted Progress 8 for 2019 indicating a further rise. If our predictions are realised Forest Hill performance should be ahead of boys’ national performance.
The second major school accountability measure is ‘Attainment 8’. This is the average grade pupils in a school attain in their best 8 GCSEs. Our performance in 2017 was below that nationally and for Lewisham, for both boys and all pupils including girls. Our2018 score is above both national and Lewisham figures, not only for boys but for all pupils including girls. This is a further indication that our improvement is clearly on track, with 2019 figures set to rise once more.
When I became Headteacher my clearly stated ambition was for Forest Hill School to become one of the highest achieving all ability boys’ schools in the country. I still resolutely believe this will be the case. The school is emerging from a difficult couple of years and the 2018 results show that we are making rapid progress towards our ultimate goal.
It goes without saying that I am more than happy to discuss any queries you may have related to the matters discussed above.