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Sheffield Best Secondary Schools Rankings and Trend Trajectory for Applications 2018

Local / Sheffield Sep 18, 2018 - 10:40 AM GMT

By: N_Walayat

Local

Sheffield's students born between 1/9/2007 and 31/08/2008 will be busy with parents applying for their secondary school places in the count down to the deadline of 31st October 2018 for paper applications and 18th October for online. In preparations for which families will be attending open evenings across Sheffield's secondary schools, where many hope to gain a place at one of Sheffield's top ranked schools, which given the high demand not even in catchment area children are assured a place.

So students and their parents will have been scouring various Sheffield secondary schools performance league tables in making their application choices. However, the league tables can from time to time prove highly misleading as many of Sheffield's 38 or so Secondary schools / Academies for whatever reasons tend to exhibit volatility in performance from year to year. Therefore a currently high ranking school may not mean that the same level of performance will continue in subsequent years as it may have been subject to special measures, therefore a better methodology in the ranking of schools is to evaluate performance in terms of trend.


The following graph represents Sheffield's Top 18 Secondary schools out of a total of 38 rated in terms of consistency in attaining high rankings in the school league tables from 2001 to 2017 for 5 A-C GCSE Results.

The graph shows schools ranked as a percentage attaining 5 GCSE's at A-C, the grading system changed for most schools in 2017 to Attainment 8 Score, so data has been normalised as a % of top scoring school.

For another year the the top two rankings are taken by Independent schools, with the third being a Catholic faith school. Whilst Silverdale School (Academy) continues to rank as Sheffield's best state school in terms of consistency of trend, closely followed by Westbourne and Tapton Academy despite both scoring higher than Silverdale School for 2017 but rank lower due to higher volatility in results.

The next 2 state schools are High Storrs and King Ecgbert with little difference between the two. With Bradfield in 9th place which is probably the last of consistent schools.

The trend chart continues with fairly similar rankings for the next 3 schools, 10th Handsworth, 11th King Edward VII and 12th Meadowhead Academy. With the remaining 6 schools all ranking similar to Meadowhead.

Overall 2017 was a good year for Sheffield's schools as most managed to improve their GCSE results, with several new schools appearing on the scene as Sheffield city council finally got around to addressing the crisis in Sheffield's school places by building new schools, though of course which will lack any track record.

Construction of New Mercia Secondary School to take pressure off of Silverdale and High Storrs Schools

Anyway Sheffield city council appears to have finally addressed it's self created school places crisis that I have covered at length over the years as the following excerpt illustrates:

09 Jun 2013 - Sheffield School Admissions Appeals Help - What You Should Do

Sheffield School Places Chaos

The reason so many children fail to get a place at for instance a catchment area school, is as a consequence of the Labour run Sheffield City Council continuing the Liberal Democrats programme for spending deep cuts in Sheffield's education budget as the below graph illustrates that in nominal terms has seen the education budget already cut by 11% since 2010 and 17% in real terms for the year 2012-13 and with the budget for 2013-14 announced continuing the the deep cuts to 14% and 24%, (after inflation of 3% per annum).

Sheffeld city council school places cuts

The impact of these cuts on child places in effect reverses the picture of more than a decade earlier, when Sheffield's children could more or less have expected to receive a place at a catchment area school of their choice at the application stage, with the remaining accepted on appeal, this was as the below graph illustrates by virtue of the fact that for many years Sheffield had a surplus of 5,000 school places (about 5%). However over the past 2 years deep cuts in the budget in real terms has reversed the situation from a an estimated 5,000 surplus places to a deficit of 5,000 places as of 2012-13, i.e. a cut of 10,000 school places through school closures and reductions in the number of classes running at exiting schools, against that which were available during 2010-11, the consequences of which is that schools are being effectively stuffed full to the rafters with the number of children per class now far exceeding the recommended guidelines for maximum class sizes which is resulting in the lack of school places at catchment area schools.

The consequences for 2013 school places has been that many families face a crisis of failure to attain a place in catchment area schools even if siblings attend the school due to an estimated deficit of 8,000 school places for 2013-13 which is resulting in children being placed at schools right across the city thus making it impossible for children with siblings to be in receipt of an effective education service that parents are still forced to pay for through high council and payroll taxes.

The consequences of this is not just lack of school places at schools of choice but that ALL existing schools will be stuffed full to rafters with children they have no room for with severe consequences in terms of the quality of teaching and social consequences in terms of breakdown in school systems including the the behaviour of students, and ultimately in the performance of schools as all schools are likely to see a worsening in the attainment levels of their students.

The following housing market centric map illustrates schools in which areas are likely to be heavily oversubscribed as they tend to be situated in affluent areas of the city, where even in catchment area children are not guaranteed a school place due to rampant fraud in school place applications.

Developments overt the past couple of years have included explanation of Sheffield's best secondary school, Silverdale by 60 places or about 30% for several years until the new secondary school situated on Carterknowle Rd was built. Whilst a whole host of existing infants and junior schools have or are undergoing expansion such as Ecclesall Infant School and Dobcroft Juniors that parents and teachers had desperately fought to prevent the expansion of.

Against this we have ivory tower academics periodically producing studies that the mainstream press eagerly regurgitate that literally state that affluent parents tend to hog places at Sheffield's best schools, studies that are clearly devoid of commonsense to realise that it is the affluent parents who are responsible for the existence of the good state schools in the first place, for if it were a question of funding then the school league tables would be in reverse order as on average affluent schools tend to receive about 30% less per pupil than the schools in less affluent areas. Instead what academics recommend is a recipe for disaster, one of of turning ALL of Sheffield schools into bottom ranking schools, ALL under performing, forcing affluent parents to ultimately take the leap into private schooling, leaving behind literally a city wide waste of schools that no parents want to send their children to!

The Star - Pupils from posh suburbs hog Sheffield’s best school, report reveals

Furthermore even Sheffield's best school, Silverdale is no longer immune to making it into the mainstream press for all the bad reasons as the Daily Mail recent report of a gang of Somalian girls attacking a white girl because she posted something on a social network about their area.

Daily Mail - School under fire after ‘Somali girl gang attacked teenager in row over Snapchat post and left another with a broken jaw’

A school has come under fire after a girl gang allegedly attacked two teenagers within a fortnight, leaving one with broken ribs.

Mother Natasha Green claims her daughter Leah, 16, was a victim of racial bullying by a group of Somalian girls, who took issue with Leah spending the day in a Somalian part of town.

She claims her daughter was set upon by the girl gang in the school canteen after a row broke out over a Snapchat post showing the day out she'd had.

Parents desperate to avoid having their child enrol at under performing catchment schools just intensify the epidemic of fraudulent school place applications as many parents are more than willing to have their children avoid going to the local catchment area school. Especially as this fraud has NO consequences in law and is seen by the perpetuators as a victimless crime, where as the inept system currently stands that even if the fraud is subsequently discovered once the child starts school, then the child would still be allowed to continue at that school which effectively amounts to fraud being rewarded rather than punished, that's what happens in socialist Sheffield.

Therefore many parents will be pressurising family members, friends, acquaintances or even using addresses without householders knowledge, or deploying other tricks of the trade, all in pursuit of a place at one of Sheffield's best ranked state secondary, juniors and infants schools.

The bottom line is that Sheffield's school places crisis is easing as existing schools are expanded and new schools are built, but in parents quest to send their children to Sheffield's best state schools then it could be as long as a decade before they have a serious impact on the heavy demand for places at Sheffield's best schools, as it could take that long for new schools to show any consistently of results in the league tables.

Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-2018 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 30 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.

Housing Markets Forecast 2014-2018The Stocks Stealth Bull Market 2013 and Beyond EbookThe Stocks Stealth Bull Market Update 2011 EbookThe Interest Rate Mega-Trend EbookThe Inflation Mega-trend Ebook

Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication that presents in-depth analysis from over 1000 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets, thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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