Closing the achievement gap: Further GCSE improvement at ARK academies

Today’s results confirm leading academy group ARK Schools’ fifth consecutive year of improved GCSE performance across its academies. The five ARK academies with GCSE results achieved an average rise of 11 percentage points over the 2010 results. Since each school opened as an ARK academy the average annual increase in pupils achieving five GCSEs at A*-C including English and mathematics is also 11 percentage points.

Despite average free school meal entitlement of 50% across its five academies, 61% of ARK’s GCSE pupils achieved five A*-C grades including English and maths with FSM pupils slightly outperforming non-FSM.

St Alban’s Academy is the tenth most improved academy with a 17 percentage point improvement since 2010.

Three ARK academies are in the top thirty academies for GCSE attainment with English and maths.

In 2005, the year before the first ARK academy opened, the average attainment of five A*s-Cs including English and maths in the five ARK predecessor schools was just 19%.

% pupils
passing five GCSEs at A* - C inc English and maths>
Opened

2009

2010

2011

Percentage point
increase 2010 - 2011

Av
 annual

percentage point increase since opening as ARK academy

Burlington Danes

2006

50

67

75

8

9

Walworth

2007

45

59

69

10

11

Globe

2008

35

42

45**

3

6

St Alban’s

2009

31*

50

67

17

18

Charter

2009

21*

24

39

15

9

 

Average
across ARK Schools

 

11

11

* Predecessor school.

** Error in DFE table which shows 44% and DFE
will correct

Notable successes include:

Burlington Danes Academy: 75% of pupils achieved 5 A*-C grades including English and maths, up from 31% since it became an ARK academy. A quarter of both the English and maths entries secured A/A* grades.

St Alban’s Academy: The GCSE pass rate is up by 17 percentage points in one year – to 67% (2010, 50%) and up 36 percentage points in the two years since becoming an ARK academy.
 

Charter Academy’s GCSE pass rate of 39% is a 15 percentage point increase on 2010 making Charter the twentieth most improved academy by GCSE improvement between 2010 and 2011. In 2006 the predecessor school achieved just 3%.

Maths specialism: ARK average of 73% A*-C grades in maths. 20% of maths entries across the network are at A or A*.