Richmond Park Academy results - not very encouraging...(18 Posts)
For those parents who think RPA is doing well, and that leadership is good, the results don't indicate that. (This follows on from thread where people were assuming that a full intake was as a result of improvements in the school, rather than local Primary Heads being persuasive and a shortage of places elsewhere).
The usual excuse is that they had previous intakes of
thick disadvantaged kids.
However the rate of 5 GCSEs including Eng & Maths ( which they avoided publishing until after the deadline for Y7 applications ) is 46%, down from 62% the previous year. (They make try to blame that on the gvt changing the rules, but they were rules that were gaming the system anyway ( multiple entries, choosing easy spoken exams instead of rigorous writing etc)
More relevant, however, and where that 'excuse' does not apply is the measure of KS4 pupil progress here
..................................................................Low .....Middle...... High
Pupils making expected progress in English....36%......63%......65%
Pupils making expected progress in maths...14%......48%......74%
This is only expected progress - not even adding any value.
So if you have a low attainer, very slim chance that that child will make expected progress in maths. And better hope your high attainer child is not bothered achieving their potential in English.
No wonder RPA has to hire PR people - and they have done a good job in burying the bad news, sadly its the DC whose potential is not met that pay the price.
You may have a point - the progress and VA measures are similar to Hampton and Twickenham Academy, and they've all had their challenges before and after becoming academies. But there are signs that it offers the Ebacc range more widely now and has strengths in individual subjects. Since there are children still sitting current GCSEs, it would be useful to wait for 2015 provisional results to see how far these schools have come over the last four academic years. It looks like the majority of Barnes Primary children are intending to go there. What other options do they have?
That's the nub - Barnes DC have no other option, but it is still been talked up as a triumph got RPA, rather than necessity.
And cognitive dissonance means that parents with no choice are likely to ignore the poor performance and try to talk up the school, whereas they (and the DoE) should be demanding what plan the HT has to get the standard up to at least 'expected progress' .
Sure in the future if they have 'easier to teach' DC it is likely the GCSE results will improve, but that does not say much for the quality of teaching, and in any case the real test is the added-value (or rather, just maintaining the value, which is not currently happening).
The HT has now been there fore several years, so this is a very poor track record.
Interesting. I will look into this. I hadn't realised
Mentioned here that the head had been there for a long time, interesting to see that after she left and the then senior vice principal took over, there was still no improvement. Sixth form results have been similarly poor. New head started in September and only obvious changes to date are the fact that half the teaching staff seems to have left. They should be due an Ofsted surely? The last one was in 2012?
Looking at the staff list on their website looks like same ones that have been there for years, unless they keep the names on after the people have left.
The do show quite a remarkably high number of 'School Direct' teachers - ie salaried trainees. Unlike PGCE students, SD salaried trainees do not need a qualified teacher in the class with them. One way of keeping costs down...
Hello, this is Michele Colt, Marketing & Communications Manager at RPA. I always view these comments with great interest. If you are a prospective parent or interested party please come to RPA to find out about our results, our aspirations and our commitment to Schools Direct! We are very happy to share that information direct rather than via any third party. Please find attached an open invitation to view RPA during a school day and take the opportunity to question Mr Mundy-Castle with any queries you may have. We are always very happy to welcome anybody who is interested in our progress. Very kind regards, Michele Colt
A PP said that half the teaching staff has left - which sounds extraordinary, and surely not true? Perhaps you could confirm or refute that?
Hello, it is completely untrue that we have lost half of our teaching staff. In fact, nobody resigned during the last resignation date. (Teachers have 3 opportunities to resign each year) We have 3 members of staff on maternity leave and they are due back after Easter.
On the subject of training and School Direct positions, those comments are also inaccurate. We are proud of our training credentials. There is a substantial shortage of teachers in this country. Not only is it right that we support new teachers in their development it is in our interest to develop relationships with the best new talent out there. We currently have 4 School Direct teachers who are supported both inside and outside of the classroom and are attached to their individual universities. None of the School Direct teachers are paid through the salaried route but they offer RPA an ideal opportunity to hopefully recruit in the next academic year. It is not a money saving exercise but a talent development one.
There is no doubt that conversations about schooling generate emotion! As a school, we expect to be accountable for our results and actions. However, it is vitally important that the conversations are based on fact rather than speculation. RPA has close to 800 students and a committed staff led by a dynamic new Principal with a proven track record. It is important to note that he was appointed jointly by Richmond Borough Council and AET. They are all working extremely hard to generate the right results going forward. It would be hugely helpful for the whole community to support and encourage that endeavour - even with a critical eye - then we all win!
Finally, as always, thank you to everyone who shows an interest in RPA - do come and see us to make your own judgement.
There's a mass walk out of staff there at the moment. The effect of the new principal has been crystal clear as the school’s most capable and qualified teachers are leaving in droves. Many of which are taking up new posts at local private schools.
Well over half teachers are leaving at the end of the summer term, this July. Numerous highly skilled teachers and support staff have already left this year, only to be replaced by cover teachers or trainees.
Hello again, Richmond Park Academy has not lost half of its teaching staff and there hasn't been a mass walk out. 9 members of teaching staff out of 57 will be leaving at the end of next week due to a combination of promotion elsewhere or re-location. This is consistent with other schools.
As well as recruiting a new Deputy Head we have worked hard to recruit first-class replacements for the new academic year and are delighted to say that all posts are filled with teachers coming from schools with excellent track records like St John the Baptist and Ark and Harris Academies. All teachers have Qualified Teacher Status.
It is a little bemusing to see such misinformation disseminated on this thread. I would like to repeat what I have said before. Anybody with a genuine interest in the real progress that RPA is making should come and see for themselves.
Marketing & Communications Manager
I've heard that many more staff are leaving next week, teaching and support staff. Definitely not half the teaching staff, but four teachers have left already this year and over ten more next week.
Don't get me wrong, it's very good to have a 'tidy up', but there's not a lot of accuracy in the released numbers and reasons.
I've lived locally for a number of years and want to see this school do well.
What happened to the Head of Languages and the new Head of Science who disappeared a few weeks ago? (To be fair, no-one ever called the Head of Languages a star performer but seems odd to leave before the end of the year.)
I heard a rumour (I hope unfounded - please refute if that is the case) that the Head of Drama was complaining recently on Facebook and asking for Schemes of Work because Drama was being taught by non-specialists including a maths teacher - can the PR person confirm that classes are taught by their subject specialists even in KS3?
I believe they took a career break to travel with their young family for a year. A great experience for them all.
There have been non-specialists teaching outside their subject areas for many years unfortunately, and not all qualified either.
It is a shame when staff turnover is so high, but change does shake things up. I do hope that the students don't suffer as a result. I've watched the school grow and develop with great interest over time.
I am disappointed in Richmond Park Academy. It is also a nightmare to get hold of somebody to talk (in my case Head of Year) in regards to your child.. I love to get my child out of there...
The self serving academy business model more or less only suits a relative handful of self starter students whose parents extra curriculum bill can challenge the level of some other parents annual income. You have no formula that works for what students there actually are versus the ones you dream of - isn't that right Mr Colt. Your facilitation is geared toward students who almost do not need a school - while it is almost completely beyond you comprehension that a moral education model is needed for all the pointless spin
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