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Sunday Times Secondary School list - no London Oratory?

(30 Posts)
Letsgetreal Thu 27-Nov-14 16:19:28

Am I missing something obvious here but I couldn't see The London Oratory on the Sunday Times best secondary schools list last weekend - either in the paper or online.

Am I being stupid or is it really not there? If so is there a reason does anyone know.......

Blu Thu 27-Nov-14 16:33:55

How do the Sunday Times define 'best secondary schools'?

cakeisalwaystheanswer Thu 27-Nov-14 21:21:10

Just checked my copy and I can't see it either, very surprising as CVMS is 53. Maybe someone with a subscription could check parentpower as it should at least be in the top 500.
The "Best" secondary schools are ranked according to percentage of A*/B at A level (apparently the ST thinks there is no difference between an A* and a B) and number of A*/A at GCSE.

TalkinPeace Thu 27-Nov-14 21:25:25

Either the Sunday Times list is REALLY out of date (2013 data)
or its Guess work
as the 2014 data set does not come out till January

Ladymuck Thu 27-Nov-14 21:27:20

Most schools have given out the data already to existing and prospective parents TalkinPeace.

But I checked ParentPower and it isn't on there.

skylark2 Thu 27-Nov-14 21:29:07

It could be a technical reason to do with the exams the kids take.

One year (maybe more) DD's school was bottom of the local paper's league tables, which are done on percentage of pupils with 5 A*-C GCSEs including maths and English. They didn't count IGCSE so according to them the school's percentage was 0, as all the kids did IGCSE maths.

TalkinPeace Thu 27-Nov-14 21:35:35

Most schools may have handed out data, but its not been moderated and its not complete
(a) because schools that did badly will not have submitted
(b) because the re marking of exams is still going on

NEVER trust data that you cannot verify the source

IGCSE has been in the league tables since the state schools started using it three years ago

Blu Thu 27-Nov-14 22:26:01

"The "Best" secondary schools are ranked according to percentage of A*/B at A level (apparently the ST thinks there is no difference between an A* and a B) and number of A*/A at GCSE."

With no relationship to the intake?


peteneras Thu 27-Nov-14 22:26:14

If The London Oratory is not listed, then it's simply not good enough.

End of story.

straggle Thu 27-Nov-14 22:35:25

There is an issue with IGCSEs though - some exam boards or papers have been included but not all:

I'm not sure that's the reason the Oratory hasn't been included however. If they are looking at percentage of A/A*s the Sunday Times could still be counting the exams that don't qualify for the 5A-C measure.

TalkinPeace Thu 27-Nov-14 22:37:50

that article applies to the 2013 data
the 2014 data set will be different

HoleyJoe Thu 27-Nov-14 22:41:06

Maybe the curtailing of the covert selection in the admissions system by the schools adjudicator has resulted in a more representative intake, which doesn't produce results that compete in the Sunday Times' rather crude 'first past the post' way to measure the 'best' schools.

Doesn't mean it isn't one of the best schools, it might be, but who cares? If you like the school, have evidence or a belief in good teaching there, it suits your child and you have a chance to get a place, that's all that matters, surely?

TalkinPeace Thu 27-Nov-14 22:43:22

that will not have an effect for 7 years in A levels

more likely they have not submitted data because they are awaiting re-marks

wait for the real table in January

HoleyJoe Thu 27-Nov-14 22:48:14


Sunday Times has published a list on interim data then. Pointless. Or worse.

handcream Thu 27-Nov-14 22:55:59

My DS's school wasn't in there and it has great results. They do a mixture of IGCSE's, IB and Pre U.

This table sounds like a complete waste of time and misleading a best.nnwhy doesn't it say it doesn't include this or that in their calculations!

straggle Thu 27-Nov-14 23:45:21

TalkinPeace the article refers to provisional 2014 data published in October 2014. This is the second year that some IGCSEs have not been included after a two-year period when all were counted. See the DfE's statistical release at page 12:

'In independent schools, pupils have continued to be entered for unregulated qualifications that do not count in performance measures and they have not been moved across to the regulated certificate versions. The effect of this has been enhanced in 2013/14 by the final group of unregulated IGCSEs reaching the end of their grace period and not being included in results. '

Letsgetreal Fri 28-Nov-14 09:34:38

Online there are tables for Pre U and IGCSEs along with IB. Oratory not on any which is very strange.....

farewelltoarms Fri 28-Nov-14 12:45:45

The problem isn't whether they've got accurate data or they're including iGSCE, the problem is having stupid league tables that are based on exit results alone with no context and calling them the 'best' schools. It just furthers this ridiculous notion that schools should be judged as 'good' or 'bad' on results alone.

TalkinPeace Fri 28-Nov-14 19:22:15

Well if schools are arrogant enough or stupid enough to use qualifications that are not comparable for later users - such as colleges and universities and employers, serves them bloody right.

The data is CLEARLY marked up as provisions : there are whole cohort re-marks still ongoing in many schools

the papers are a PITA for frothing this sort of stuff up

HoleyJoe Fri 28-Nov-14 20:52:51

OP - is there a particular reason why the Oratory would be in the list?
However they measure it, the margins between those in the top 200 or so of the country's schools must be very narrow anyway. There are so many super selectives, selectives, grammars, do you have a particular expectation that the LO should necessarily be in the list?

Actually given that the KS4 cohort includes no children of low attainment
(a comp!) and that 73% of the intake are high attainers, and that the VA score is average or below, and the A level average is B-, why would it be in the top 100on anyone's criteria?

I am sure it is a good school, and there will be many other good schools giving young people a great start in life that happen not to feature in a shoddily put together Newspaper list.

As TalkinPeace says: Froth.

HoleyJoe Fri 28-Nov-14 21:06:49

The LO isn't even high up in the list of schools that have the same level of prior attainment of pupils. It is 50th out of 55.

admission Fri 28-Nov-14 21:17:21

The official moderated results are scheduled to be out next week. There will be significant differences between some of the initial figures quoted by schools and the official figures. One of the reasons is that a pupil may have taken an exam twice. If they got C in the first and A* in the second, the school will probably have gone with the A* grade in the info they have given out but the official results for the school will only count the first result, which is a C.
Obviously the pupil still has an A* but the purpose of this change is to stop repeated taking of the tests to get better grades b the school.

TalkinPeace Fri 28-Nov-14 21:25:42

Do you have a link to say that the finalised results come out on the DFE next week

just that I know of full cohort re-marks that are outstanding (300 x GCSE AQA English) which utterly and totally affect league table placings

and as my DD's two re-marks moved by over 15% each I'm wary of using non final data

HoleyJoe Fri 28-Nov-14 22:13:30

Can someone please explain why this is important?

My DD can't go to the LO because she is a girl. She can't go to the top girls school because it is hundreds of miles away. She can't go to any of the grammar schools that populate the 'top schools' lists because we are not in a grammar area.

How many people have a choice from amongst schools on the lists of 'top' schools?

Look at the VA scores, see how kids on your child's attainment band are served by any given school, support them well and they will reflect themselves as an individual. The average cores of other kids aren't their scores!

TalkinPeace Fri 28-Nov-14 22:21:54

Its important because it affects the thought processes of the ministers and wonks who set policy

they have diddly squat understanding of areas like mine that are 98% comp

so we must find ways to poke holes in their assumptions and data

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