SCHOOL leaders have urged parents not to fixate on ‘simplistic’ and ‘crude’ statistics, after finalised GCSE and A-Level results painted a confused picture.

Oxfordshire’s average attainment for GCSEs dipped in 2017 compared to 2016, statistics released this week reveal, though A-Levels saw a slight upturn overall.

The Cherwell School in Summertown excelled across the board, while several others fluctuated depending on different ways of measuring results.

One Oxfordshire school was classed a ‘coasting school’ at secondary level – meaning the Government could intervene to improve standards.

Analysis of figures suggest this was St Gregory the Great Catholic School in East Oxford, but neither the school nor the Department for Education would confirm this.

Two other schools, UTC Oxfordshire near Didcot, and Space Studio Banbury, were deemed to not be meeting floor standards at GCSE.

UTC topped the table for A-Level progress scores (excluding private schools), but had one of the worst Progress 8 scores, a measure which calculates students’ progress from joining secondary school to GCSEs.

Principal Owain Johns said: “[At GCSE] it doesn’t present a true picture. It’s quite a crude measure.”

He explained that as a university technical college, students join aged 14 - whereas Progress 8 takes into account students’ progress from the age of 11, meaning a large chunk of that period was spent at a different school.

The Government’s other headline measures for results is Attainment 8, which averages a student’s GCSE performance across eight core subjects, and average points score (APS) per entry for A-Level exams.

d’Overbroeck’s in North Oxford topped the county league table for Attainment 8, closely followed by The Cherwell School.

The state school in Summertown was also top for Progress 8, and was also the best-performing state school for ASP at A-Level.

It claimed to be in the top 10 state schools of a similar size in the country for its English GCSE performance.

Proud headteacher Chris Price commended staff, parents and pupils, adding: “We are delighted. It’s a huge team effort from lots of people, they are a dream to work with.”

But he said he is ‘not a fan’ of league tables and the ‘winners and losers’ culture, adding: “It’s important to look at what’s behind the results.”

The Oxford Academy in Littlemore was second in the county for Progress 8, but bottom for APS, though this is skewed by a very small cohort of A-Level entrants.

Principal Niall McWilliams said: “We have really high aspirations and we never take our results for granted.

“We don’t place great emphasis on league tables - it isn’t a fair way of measuring schools, it’s far too simple.”

Larkmead School in Abingdon ranked in the top five state schools for both APS and A-Level progress score.

Headteacher Chris Harris hailed the results as ‘fantastic’, adding: “To be top five in both is amazing.”