Oxford Academy results fall amid celebrations elsewhere

Vicky Baden

Vicky Baden

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

THE new headteacher of a failing academy has vowed to “get it right” next year after seeing a lower set of results than last year.

Niall McWilliams, who only took over Oxford Academy in March, said they were disappointed that out of the 144 pupils who sat the exams, just 30 per cent achieved five GCSEs with grades between A* and C – down 12 per cent on 2013.

Mr McWilliams, who was brought in as headteacher from Carterton Community College, said: “I believe we need to do better and we know we can do better. I’m genuinely confident that we will.

“We have got the right structures in place. Next year will see a significant improvement. We can get it right for next year.”

He said that, while the results were poor, there were some improvements, adding: “English A* to C is now at 53 per cent and maths is about 50 per cent which is above target, even with the change in grade boundaries.”

It was a change from last week at the Sandy Lane West academy when all its A-Level students passed for the first time in its history.

Placed in special measures last January following an Ofsted inspection, the school was then the worst performing in the county and 25th worst in the country.

Meanwhile in East Oxford, Oxford Spires Academy’s A* to C grades including English and maths jumped 10 per cent from 2013 to 59 per cent.

Principal Sue Croft said: “They’re a lovely year group, and they work really well with the staff.”

Vicky Baden, 16, from Didcot, got one A*, three As, three Bs and a C.

She said: “I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was expecting to fail most things and then maybe get a couple of Cs.

“I didn’t think I’d done that well – I just revised a lot I suppose.”

Cheney School in Headington yesterday had not released its results, citing technical problems, but said that its pupils had done well. Headteacher Jolie Kirby said: “We have had exceptional results from students from Year 8 and upwards.

“The number of A* to B grades has gone up, it’s now over 55 per cent, which is really brilliant.”

Emma Cattermole was one of Cheney’s top-performing pupils, achieving seven A*s, one A, and an A in AS-Level French which she sat a year early.

Emma, 16, who lives in Cowley, said: “I’m over the moon, some of my grades were way better than I expected.”

St Gregory the Great Catholic School in Cowley saw 46 per cent of students receive five A* to C grade GCSEs including English and maths, with 64 per cent getting above a C in English and 58 per cent in maths.

In North Oxford, The Cherwell School also did well, with an improvement of five per cent in its A* to C grades including English and maths, reaching 76 per cent.

Headteacher Paul James said: “I’m delighted so many students are really well placed for their future next steps.”

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Comments (2)

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9:08am Fri 22 Aug 14

Myron Blatz says...

Maybe it's time for yet another change, and change the Academy back to the way the school used to be run when known as Peers School Littlemore, with the same quality of teachers they used to have, and regain the excellent reputation which Peers once had before being mucked-around by various different governments and education 'gurus' who long-since vanished in the anals of time! More realistically perhaps it should be remembered that many of the problems in learning and behaviour of the schoolchildren originate not in the classroom, but outside school - and especially in the home, where disfunctional family life and pockets of some of the worst 10% of deprived youngsters in Oxford live, within the catchment area of the Oxford Academy - the bery same issues which eventually saw the decline of Peers.
Maybe it's time for yet another change, and change the Academy back to the way the school used to be run when known as Peers School Littlemore, with the same quality of teachers they used to have, and regain the excellent reputation which Peers once had before being mucked-around by various different governments and education 'gurus' who long-since vanished in the anals of time! More realistically perhaps it should be remembered that many of the problems in learning and behaviour of the schoolchildren originate not in the classroom, but outside school - and especially in the home, where disfunctional family life and pockets of some of the worst 10% of deprived youngsters in Oxford live, within the catchment area of the Oxford Academy - the bery same issues which eventually saw the decline of Peers. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 2

9:45am Fri 22 Aug 14

nicklox says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
Maybe it's time for yet another change, and change the Academy back to the way the school used to be run when known as Peers School Littlemore, with the same quality of teachers they used to have, and regain the excellent reputation which Peers once had before being mucked-around by various different governments and education 'gurus' who long-since vanished in the anals of time! More realistically perhaps it should be remembered that many of the problems in learning and behaviour of the schoolchildren originate not in the classroom, but outside school - and especially in the home, where disfunctional family life and pockets of some of the worst 10% of deprived youngsters in Oxford live, within the catchment area of the Oxford Academy - the bery same issues which eventually saw the decline of Peers.
Two of my very good friends are teachers at Oxford Academy, I was a student under Niall McWilliams and I can categorically say that questioning the quality of the teachers at Oxford Academy is pathetic.

There are obviously issues that require addressing I agree, but Mr McWilliams has been there since March so give him time - he will prove to be a fantastic asset. Moreover, if everyone put the time, effort and enthusiasm into their work as my friends, the world would be a much better place.

It must be genuinely horrible having such a politicised, negative outlook on everything, seriously.
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: Maybe it's time for yet another change, and change the Academy back to the way the school used to be run when known as Peers School Littlemore, with the same quality of teachers they used to have, and regain the excellent reputation which Peers once had before being mucked-around by various different governments and education 'gurus' who long-since vanished in the anals of time! More realistically perhaps it should be remembered that many of the problems in learning and behaviour of the schoolchildren originate not in the classroom, but outside school - and especially in the home, where disfunctional family life and pockets of some of the worst 10% of deprived youngsters in Oxford live, within the catchment area of the Oxford Academy - the bery same issues which eventually saw the decline of Peers.[/p][/quote]Two of my very good friends are teachers at Oxford Academy, I was a student under Niall McWilliams and I can categorically say that questioning the quality of the teachers at Oxford Academy is pathetic. There are obviously issues that require addressing I agree, but Mr McWilliams has been there since March so give him time - he will prove to be a fantastic asset. Moreover, if everyone put the time, effort and enthusiasm into their work as my friends, the world would be a much better place. It must be genuinely horrible having such a politicised, negative outlook on everything, seriously. nicklox
  • Score: -2

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