Francis Combe Academy in Garston, to stop maths and science A Levels

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AN academy school in Garston has announced it will no longer be offering maths and science A Level subjects to its sixth form pupils.

Francis Combe Academy, in Horseshoe Lane, has announced that for the academic year beginning in September sixth form pupils will no longer have provisions to maths or science A Levels.

The school gained academy status in September 2009. Principal Leo Gilbert said: "For the academic year beginning in September 2013 Francis Combe Academy will not be offering A Level provision in mathematics or science. The Academy’s management did not take this decision lightly and understands the concern of some parents.

"The Academy strives to offer our students the best chance of success, and therefore must aspire to certain standards in the courses we run. There are many factors, such as teaching resources and student numbers, which affect the learning experience and the subjects which we offer among our broad range of A Level options.

Mr Gilbert added the academy would be investigating opportunities to work in partnership with local schools and West Herts College to offer our students provision in maths and science.

In an Ofsted report from June 2012 the academy was rated at a "satisfactory" level while it said "teaching seen in the sixth form was good or better on almost every occasion."

Ahead of GCSE results in August last year, findings showed stronger outcomes in mathematics and science at the academy than previously.

Watford MP Richard Harrington highlighted his concern regarding the academy’s decision to stop the provision of "core subjects" and said he would be contacting Francis Combe immediately.

Mr Harrington said: "In fairness to the Francis Combe Academy they have achieved a great amount since becoming an academy and I have been very impressed with their improvements.

"However, children and students should be given the chance to study core subjects and it is very reasonable to expect this."

Comments (28)

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5:54pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Sara says...

This is really unfair to those pupils who end up at the school simply because it is the closest non-selective school.

When so much work is going into trying to ensure all bright pupils have the chance to excel in higher education, this seems to be a retrograde step.

The deadline to apply to neighbouring Parmiter's School to take A levels there has already passed last month. In any case, it is not easy to move into the sixth form of a partly selective school, as the numbers are limited.

Surely this will also mean that some good teachers will leave, so that they can continue to each the A level syllabus?
This is really unfair to those pupils who end up at the school simply because it is the closest non-selective school. When so much work is going into trying to ensure all bright pupils have the chance to excel in higher education, this seems to be a retrograde step. The deadline to apply to neighbouring Parmiter's School to take A levels there has already passed last month. In any case, it is not easy to move into the sixth form of a partly selective school, as the numbers are limited. Surely this will also mean that some good teachers will leave, so that they can continue to each the A level syllabus? Sara
  • Score: 0

5:58pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Watfordengineer says...

At a time our nation is suffering a shortage of engineering, this is shocking news. The pupils need to be given better job advice and reminded that there are so many applications to science and maths.
At a time our nation is suffering a shortage of engineering, this is shocking news. The pupils need to be given better job advice and reminded that there are so many applications to science and maths. Watfordengineer
  • Score: 0

7:53pm Thu 17 Jan 13

jasonwatford says...

Disgrace.......you cant do normal subjects that many would need to go to university....joke of a school they just spent how many millions on ??
Disgrace.......you cant do normal subjects that many would need to go to university....joke of a school they just spent how many millions on ?? jasonwatford
  • Score: 0

9:17pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

Gilbert from Inbetweeners ...... promoted to Principal of an Academy ..... I wonder if this is irony or reality parodying art? Perhaps the cohort will develop a similar intellect to their Inbetweeners counterparts, minus the scripting and off screen personas.

Dumb down the curriculum mix, massage the stats, play Offsted and pray that a Grade 3, 'Requires Improvement', is not given at the next inspection.

I'm surprised Richard Harrington didn't do another video and collect a petition.
Gilbert from Inbetweeners ...... promoted to Principal of an Academy ..... I wonder if this is irony or reality parodying art? Perhaps the cohort will develop a similar intellect to their Inbetweeners counterparts, minus the scripting and off screen personas. Dumb down the curriculum mix, massage the stats, play Offsted and pray that a Grade 3, 'Requires Improvement', is not given at the next inspection. I'm surprised Richard Harrington didn't do another video and collect a petition. Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

9:21pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

Correction: Ofsted. See, a hangover of the dumbing down from introduction of GCSEs. It's already having a generational impact. Soon it will be genetic. Like part of our DNA Dude!
Correction: Ofsted. See, a hangover of the dumbing down from introduction of GCSEs. It's already having a generational impact. Soon it will be genetic. Like part of our DNA Dude! Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

10:20pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Andrew1963 says...

This is exactly what Michael Gove and his Tory supporting partners wanted - schools to have the freedom to make commercial decisions - why offer education services your business plan makes un-lucrative? - Academies will start to make more of these sort of decisions, just wait to the next tranche of academies in the primary sector start changing the curriculum they offer - then people will start to realise how good our schools were when they had to follow national standards and were overseen by Local Education Authorities.
This is exactly what Michael Gove and his Tory supporting partners wanted - schools to have the freedom to make commercial decisions - why offer education services your business plan makes un-lucrative? - Academies will start to make more of these sort of decisions, just wait to the next tranche of academies in the primary sector start changing the curriculum they offer - then people will start to realise how good our schools were when they had to follow national standards and were overseen by Local Education Authorities. Andrew1963
  • Score: 0

10:23pm Thu 17 Jan 13

LSC says...

Not to worry, I'm sure they can still do Media Studies, a qualification in high demand amoung employers.
Not to worry, I'm sure they can still do Media Studies, a qualification in high demand amoung employers. LSC
  • Score: 0

11:00pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

This really is plummeting to the top. For too long education has been political football in the state sector with falsified pass rates and rigged attendance figures as schools prostituted themselves to get any grants. Whistle blowers were hounded out as the rot developed. Let's be honest, in far too many schools kids are seen as cash cows and parents are given fictitious reports to make them feel good.

Can we really still remain in the G8 when we can't add up?
This really is plummeting to the top. For too long education has been political football in the state sector with falsified pass rates and rigged attendance figures as schools prostituted themselves to get any grants. Whistle blowers were hounded out as the rot developed. Let's be honest, in far too many schools kids are seen as cash cows and parents are given fictitious reports to make them feel good. Can we really still remain in the G8 when we can't add up? Mohandas
  • Score: 0

11:02pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

Or Strategic E-Commerce, M-Commerce, E-Tailing, Social Media Marketing, Viral Marketing.

Perhaps then the likes of HMV, Waterstones, Blockbusters, Comet and Jessops will not abruptly join a lemmings race and jump off the high street.
Or Strategic E-Commerce, M-Commerce, E-Tailing, Social Media Marketing, Viral Marketing. Perhaps then the likes of HMV, Waterstones, Blockbusters, Comet and Jessops will not abruptly join a lemmings race and jump off the high street. Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

12:22am Fri 18 Jan 13

MarsLander says...

Maybe they can do an "ology" instead.

Britains top universities are being encouraged to take pupils with lower grades from disadvantaged backgrounds. You can't get more disadvantaged in education than to be denied the opportunity to study.

In all seriousness, what on earth is the school thinking? No maths or science at A-level = No proper education.
Maybe they can do an "ology" instead. Britains top universities are being encouraged to take pupils with lower grades from disadvantaged backgrounds. You can't get more disadvantaged in education than to be denied the opportunity to study. In all seriousness, what on earth is the school thinking? No maths or science at A-level = No proper education. MarsLander
  • Score: 0

12:57am Fri 18 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

They're not alone. Before West Herts College merged, it had a large A level programme.

However, success rates weren't very good, so after merger it started to scale back on under performing programmes, pushed for expansion of short courses and vocational programmes, pitched the stats a certain way and voila it achieved an Ofsted Grade 1 'outstanding' in its inspection.

It's all about playing Ofsted rules.
They're not alone. Before West Herts College merged, it had a large A level programme. However, success rates weren't very good, so after merger it started to scale back on under performing programmes, pushed for expansion of short courses and vocational programmes, pitched the stats a certain way and voila it achieved an Ofsted Grade 1 'outstanding' in its inspection. It's all about playing Ofsted rules. Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

9:00am Fri 18 Jan 13

Norman Hod says...

I go to Francis Combe Academy, and I feel that the changes were justified and I agree with the schools decision.
Francis Combe is not restricting people's futures but giving them a greater opportunity to attain well in these subjects, by encouraging them to go to a different centre where the standards will be higher.
Furthermore Maths and Science are not 'requirements' for most University courses. We excel in English, Art and Humanities and if people choose to pursue a career with these subjects the school is perfect.
Francis Combe is not restricting opportunities; it is simply improving meritocracy by giving people a greater chance to get a respectable grade in these subjects at other centres.
I go to Francis Combe Academy, and I feel that the changes were justified and I agree with the schools decision. Francis Combe is not restricting people's futures but giving them a greater opportunity to attain well in these subjects, by encouraging them to go to a different centre where the standards will be higher. Furthermore Maths and Science are not 'requirements' for most University courses. We excel in English, Art and Humanities and if people choose to pursue a career with these subjects the school is perfect. Francis Combe is not restricting opportunities; it is simply improving meritocracy by giving people a greater chance to get a respectable grade in these subjects at other centres. Norman Hod
  • Score: 0

9:21am Fri 18 Jan 13

Harry Caine says...

Norman Hod wrote:
I go to Francis Combe Academy, and I feel that the changes were justified and I agree with the schools decision.
Francis Combe is not restricting people's futures but giving them a greater opportunity to attain well in these subjects, by encouraging them to go to a different centre where the standards will be higher.
Furthermore Maths and Science are not 'requirements' for most University courses. We excel in English, Art and Humanities and if people choose to pursue a career with these subjects the school is perfect.
Francis Combe is not restricting opportunities; it is simply improving meritocracy by giving people a greater chance to get a respectable grade in these subjects at other centres.
"I go to Francis Combe Academy" what as, head teacher?

Better sit down, you'll get dizzy with all this spinning
[quote][p][bold]Norman Hod[/bold] wrote: I go to Francis Combe Academy, and I feel that the changes were justified and I agree with the schools decision. Francis Combe is not restricting people's futures but giving them a greater opportunity to attain well in these subjects, by encouraging them to go to a different centre where the standards will be higher. Furthermore Maths and Science are not 'requirements' for most University courses. We excel in English, Art and Humanities and if people choose to pursue a career with these subjects the school is perfect. Francis Combe is not restricting opportunities; it is simply improving meritocracy by giving people a greater chance to get a respectable grade in these subjects at other centres.[/p][/quote]"I go to Francis Combe Academy" what as, head teacher? Better sit down, you'll get dizzy with all this spinning Harry Caine
  • Score: 0

10:12am Fri 18 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

Who can we believe?
A couple of questions. Is this what the coalition calls ‘reforming the school system so that every child has access to top universities - delivering a curriculum fit for the 21st century’? ‘Reforming the school system so that every parent has the choice…. and the exam system is rigorous, respected and on par with the world’s best’. ‘From Sept 2014, pupils will begin studying for new A-Levels developed with Ofqual, the exam boards and universities’. Does the trade descriptions act mean anything to politicians? Do those in charge have different values as regards their own children?
Who can we believe? A couple of questions. Is this what the coalition calls ‘reforming the school system so that every child has access to top universities - delivering a curriculum fit for the 21st century’? ‘Reforming the school system so that every parent has the choice…. and the exam system is rigorous, respected and on par with the world’s best’. ‘From Sept 2014, pupils will begin studying for new A-Levels developed with Ofqual, the exam boards and universities’. Does the trade descriptions act mean anything to politicians? Do those in charge have different values as regards their own children? Mohandas
  • Score: 0

10:27am Fri 18 Jan 13

MarsLander says...

Not sure other schools will welcome FC pupils with open arms.

FC has had behavioural problems that may make their pupils, en-masse, unwelcome at schools with no such behavioural problems.

At FC they gave/give points for good behaviour which can be swapped for trinkets like ipods. That says a lot, negatively, about the inherent behavioural traits of some of their intake.

The college is different, but other schools may baulk at the idea.

I think this is inherently a bad idea and smacks of FC giving up when it should be striving. Sad to see as I had high hoped for FC for the future.
Not sure other schools will welcome FC pupils with open arms. FC has had behavioural problems that may make their pupils, en-masse, unwelcome at schools with no such behavioural problems. At FC they gave/give points for good behaviour which can be swapped for trinkets like ipods. That says a lot, negatively, about the inherent behavioural traits of some of their intake. The college is different, but other schools may baulk at the idea. I think this is inherently a bad idea and smacks of FC giving up when it should be striving. Sad to see as I had high hoped for FC for the future. MarsLander
  • Score: 0

10:31am Fri 18 Jan 13

maulem95 says...

while francis combe academy make this decision, pupils and parents will be complaining and asking why?, though many people want to and people are working at A/A* are still being refused
while francis combe academy make this decision, pupils and parents will be complaining and asking why?, though many people want to and people are working at A/A* are still being refused maulem95
  • Score: 0

10:32am Fri 18 Jan 13

IanG says...

The issue here is not about Francis Combe academy. It is about the continued presence in Watford of selective schools. What chance has a non selective school of having enough pupils with the academic ability to do A level maths or science when most of the top achieving pupils will go to the selective schools. Our local MP should get this changed and PDQ to create an equal playing field for ALL students no matter what their academic prowess aged 11!
The issue here is not about Francis Combe academy. It is about the continued presence in Watford of selective schools. What chance has a non selective school of having enough pupils with the academic ability to do A level maths or science when most of the top achieving pupils will go to the selective schools. Our local MP should get this changed and PDQ to create an equal playing field for ALL students no matter what their academic prowess aged 11! IanG
  • Score: 0

10:32am Fri 18 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

Ofqual are not what they used to be. They have relaxed awarding body recognition criteria and there are ways to gain third party accreditations for higher qualifications that the donor awarding body doesn't deliver and is generally recognised as barely competent in its governance and leadership structures. I could provide two such examples. QCF provides some injection of quality, but again, the awarding body recognition criteria is not sufficiently robust, which is fine for those setting up awarding bodies on a for profit basis, but not learners.

QCF is one of the minimum requirements for university recognition of the qualification.

It gets complicated, but the education system is now firmly a business. There are Studio Schools entering the mix, liberalisation of Privy Council requirements to form a private university, expansion of the student loans system, with some new restrictions pending from April 2013.

The grade boundaries often vary in January and June, so sitting an exam in January might result in a higher grade than in June due to a statistical shift in the Poisson distribution curve.

Education is a business. If you know how the system works and how to manipulate it, it's a profitable business; if you don't, you engage a consultant working for QAA, ISI, Ofsted, Ofqual or awarding bodies who does and who can simplify the hoops for you.

Parental choice is eventually going to be based on finance and within that which private school to select rather than whether of not to select a private school at all.
Ofqual are not what they used to be. They have relaxed awarding body recognition criteria and there are ways to gain third party accreditations for higher qualifications that the donor awarding body doesn't deliver and is generally recognised as barely competent in its governance and leadership structures. I could provide two such examples. QCF provides some injection of quality, but again, the awarding body recognition criteria is not sufficiently robust, which is fine for those setting up awarding bodies on a for profit basis, but not learners. QCF is one of the minimum requirements for university recognition of the qualification. It gets complicated, but the education system is now firmly a business. There are Studio Schools entering the mix, liberalisation of Privy Council requirements to form a private university, expansion of the student loans system, with some new restrictions pending from April 2013. The grade boundaries often vary in January and June, so sitting an exam in January might result in a higher grade than in June due to a statistical shift in the Poisson distribution curve. Education is a business. If you know how the system works and how to manipulate it, it's a profitable business; if you don't, you engage a consultant working for QAA, ISI, Ofsted, Ofqual or awarding bodies who does and who can simplify the hoops for you. Parental choice is eventually going to be based on finance and within that which private school to select rather than whether of not to select a private school at all. Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Opgracel says...

As a student of Francis Combe who can and does achieve the grades required to get on to these courses, cancelling them in my opinion is an insult to us and the teachers who teach them. Due to the late announcement of this decision we are now having to look into schools further away to get into there sixth forms, and due to the schools past reputation we have a further disadvantage.
As a student of Francis Combe who can and does achieve the grades required to get on to these courses, cancelling them in my opinion is an insult to us and the teachers who teach them. Due to the late announcement of this decision we are now having to look into schools further away to get into there sixth forms, and due to the schools past reputation we have a further disadvantage. Opgracel
  • Score: 0

6:47pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Brian Northcott says...

"At a time our nation is suffering a shortage of engineering, this is shocking news. The pupils need to be given better job advice and reminded that there are so many applications to science and maths."

I agree... what is a matter with these academics? cant they see beyond their noses...... how do think Britain had such a high regard for its' engineering prowess!
"At a time our nation is suffering a shortage of engineering, this is shocking news. The pupils need to be given better job advice and reminded that there are so many applications to science and maths." I agree... what is a matter with these academics? cant they see beyond their noses...... how do think Britain had such a high regard for its' engineering prowess! Brian Northcott
  • Score: 0

7:11pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

Brian, these are not "academics". academics would not have reached such a decision and they are normally found in universities.

That aside, the decision seems to be a business motivated one to meet success rate targets - so most likely Ofsted inspection driven. Looking at the June 2012 inspection report it was a consistent grade 3 across the board. This used to be known as 'Satisfactory'. It is now classified as 'Requires Improvement', which means tighter inspection time frames. The easy option is to wave goodbye to courses that contribute to low success rates.

http://www.ofsted.go
v.uk/inspection-repo
rts/find-inspection-
report/provider/ELS/
135876
Brian, these are not "academics". academics would not have reached such a decision and they are normally found in universities. That aside, the decision seems to be a business motivated one to meet success rate targets - so most likely Ofsted inspection driven. Looking at the June 2012 inspection report it was a consistent grade 3 across the board. This used to be known as 'Satisfactory'. It is now classified as 'Requires Improvement', which means tighter inspection time frames. The easy option is to wave goodbye to courses that contribute to low success rates. http://www.ofsted.go v.uk/inspection-repo rts/find-inspection- report/provider/ELS/ 135876 Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

9:20pm Fri 18 Jan 13

student-tf says...

Like Opgracel, I am also a student at Francis Combe Academy. I do not agree with the decisions made to cancel Science A-Levels as I am a student that has worked hard to get the grades that I needed in science, to be ready to study at an A-Level standard. If it was not for the support of Science teachers at FCA I would not have been able to acheive these grades. I feel that this is the subject that I am strongest in, and to be told that I'm not good enough has really knocked my confidence for my upcoming GCSE's. I feel that the school using 'bad grades in the past' as an excuse for us not being able to do the A-Levels is unreasonable, as our year is supposed to be most promising. We have been told to look at other sixth forms if we wish to study Science or Maths, However this will be a struggle for me because even though I have the grades in Science, I struggle with English and will struggle to get my C, this therefor will prevent me from being accepted anywhere else which is why I was relying on FCA to run the Science A-Level. I have now had to change all my plans for my career. I feel that the school has let me down and I am very disappointed.
Like Opgracel, I am also a student at Francis Combe Academy. I do not agree with the decisions made to cancel Science A-Levels as I am a student that has worked hard to get the grades that I needed in science, to be ready to study at an A-Level standard. If it was not for the support of Science teachers at FCA I would not have been able to acheive these grades. I feel that this is the subject that I am strongest in, and to be told that I'm not good enough has really knocked my confidence for my upcoming GCSE's. I feel that the school using 'bad grades in the past' as an excuse for us not being able to do the A-Levels is unreasonable, as our year is supposed to be most promising. We have been told to look at other sixth forms if we wish to study Science or Maths, However this will be a struggle for me because even though I have the grades in Science, I struggle with English and will struggle to get my C, this therefor will prevent me from being accepted anywhere else which is why I was relying on FCA to run the Science A-Level. I have now had to change all my plans for my career. I feel that the school has let me down and I am very disappointed. student-tf
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Sat 19 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

Opgracel and student -tf I understand where you are coming from with your position. Maybe the Francis Coombe leadership team went to one of Cameron’s briefings - saying the right thing is not the same as doing what is right -"Let me be very clear. I care about making sure that government policy never marginalises or discriminates," he said. "I care about making sure we treat people equally. But let's have the courage to say it’. In political speak ‘words speak louder than actions’ when it comes to equality issues.
Opgracel and student -tf I understand where you are coming from with your position. Maybe the Francis Coombe leadership team went to one of Cameron’s briefings - saying the right thing is not the same as doing what is right -"Let me be very clear. I care about making sure that government policy never marginalises or discriminates," he said. "I care about making sure we treat people equally. But let's have the courage to say it’. In political speak ‘words speak louder than actions’ when it comes to equality issues. Mohandas
  • Score: 0

8:32pm Sat 19 Jan 13

LSC says...

student-tf wrote:
Like Opgracel, I am also a student at Francis Combe Academy. I do not agree with the decisions made to cancel Science A-Levels as I am a student that has worked hard to get the grades that I needed in science, to be ready to study at an A-Level standard. If it was not for the support of Science teachers at FCA I would not have been able to acheive these grades. I feel that this is the subject that I am strongest in, and to be told that I'm not good enough has really knocked my confidence for my upcoming GCSE's. I feel that the school using 'bad grades in the past' as an excuse for us not being able to do the A-Levels is unreasonable, as our year is supposed to be most promising. We have been told to look at other sixth forms if we wish to study Science or Maths, However this will be a struggle for me because even though I have the grades in Science, I struggle with English and will struggle to get my C, this therefor will prevent me from being accepted anywhere else which is why I was relying on FCA to run the Science A-Level. I have now had to change all my plans for my career. I feel that the school has let me down and I am very disappointed.
Your English is a lot better than many who post on here! I hope things work out for you, good luck.
[quote][p][bold]student-tf[/bold] wrote: Like Opgracel, I am also a student at Francis Combe Academy. I do not agree with the decisions made to cancel Science A-Levels as I am a student that has worked hard to get the grades that I needed in science, to be ready to study at an A-Level standard. If it was not for the support of Science teachers at FCA I would not have been able to acheive these grades. I feel that this is the subject that I am strongest in, and to be told that I'm not good enough has really knocked my confidence for my upcoming GCSE's. I feel that the school using 'bad grades in the past' as an excuse for us not being able to do the A-Levels is unreasonable, as our year is supposed to be most promising. We have been told to look at other sixth forms if we wish to study Science or Maths, However this will be a struggle for me because even though I have the grades in Science, I struggle with English and will struggle to get my C, this therefor will prevent me from being accepted anywhere else which is why I was relying on FCA to run the Science A-Level. I have now had to change all my plans for my career. I feel that the school has let me down and I am very disappointed.[/p][/quote]Your English is a lot better than many who post on here! I hope things work out for you, good luck. LSC
  • Score: 0

9:19am Sun 20 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

The Academy could have switched to the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science, which is equivalent to 3 A levels. Results would not be recorded until 2 years down the line, probably missing the early inspection under the new 2012 Ofsted inspection framework.

There are no examinations in the BTEC programme, which is more suitable for vocational learners.

There appears to be a lack of commitment and joined-up thinking at leadership and management level, hence the grade 3 across the board at the June 2012 inspection.
The Academy could have switched to the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science, which is equivalent to 3 A levels. Results would not be recorded until 2 years down the line, probably missing the early inspection under the new 2012 Ofsted inspection framework. There are no examinations in the BTEC programme, which is more suitable for vocational learners. There appears to be a lack of commitment and joined-up thinking at leadership and management level, hence the grade 3 across the board at the June 2012 inspection. Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

11:34am Sun 20 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

Francis Combe Academy's strapline is "Learning Transforms Lives". Obviously not the case if one wants to study science or maths.

"We provide our young people with a host of opportunities that will allow them to build the skills and knowledge, and to gain the qualifications, that will set them up to succeed as adults in the 21st century." (extract of Principal's message from the Academy website).

"Our brand new £25 million building – which is now just about complete – is enabling us to teach and learn in an inspiring, aspirational environment, where the stars are the limit. We show our youngsters the benefits of working hard, of enjoying learning and we give all members of our community the taste of success." (extract of Principal's message from the Academy website). http://www.francisco
mbeacademy.org.uk/in
dex.phtml?d=531840

So much spin!

"The proportion of students securing five higher grade passes including English and mathematics rose by 18% in 2011. Early results for 2012, show stronger outcomes in mathematics and science than
previously. (extract from Ofsted 2012 report).

Why did the Academy withdraw A levels in science and maths?
Francis Combe Academy's strapline is "Learning Transforms Lives". Obviously not the case if one wants to study science or maths. "We provide our young people with a host of opportunities that will allow them to build the skills and knowledge, and to gain the qualifications, that will set them up to succeed as adults in the 21st century." (extract of Principal's message from the Academy website). "Our brand new £25 million building – which is now just about complete – is enabling us to teach and learn in an inspiring, aspirational environment, where the stars are the limit. We show our youngsters the benefits of working hard, of enjoying learning and we give all members of our community the taste of success." (extract of Principal's message from the Academy website). http://www.francisco mbeacademy.org.uk/in dex.phtml?d=531840 So much spin! "The proportion of students securing five higher grade passes including English and mathematics rose by 18% in 2011. Early results for 2012, show stronger outcomes in mathematics and science than previously. (extract from Ofsted 2012 report). Why did the Academy withdraw A levels in science and maths? Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

12:16pm Mon 21 Jan 13

abbotsrich says...

As someone involved in Graduate Recruitment this is absolutely shocking - further increases the split between good schools and bad school. Pretty much every prestigious employer (officially or unofficially) requires a Maths A Level.
As someone involved in Graduate Recruitment this is absolutely shocking - further increases the split between good schools and bad school. Pretty much every prestigious employer (officially or unofficially) requires a Maths A Level. abbotsrich
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Mon 21 Jan 13

Sara says...

IanG wrote:
The issue here is not about Francis Combe academy. It is about the continued presence in Watford of selective schools. What chance has a non selective school of having enough pupils with the academic ability to do A level maths or science when most of the top achieving pupils will go to the selective schools. Our local MP should get this changed and PDQ to create an equal playing field for ALL students no matter what their academic prowess aged 11!
Kings Langley School is non-selective, but has students studying a range of A levels, as does St. Michael's.
[quote][p][bold]IanG[/bold] wrote: The issue here is not about Francis Combe academy. It is about the continued presence in Watford of selective schools. What chance has a non selective school of having enough pupils with the academic ability to do A level maths or science when most of the top achieving pupils will go to the selective schools. Our local MP should get this changed and PDQ to create an equal playing field for ALL students no matter what their academic prowess aged 11![/p][/quote]Kings Langley School is non-selective, but has students studying a range of A levels, as does St. Michael's. Sara
  • Score: 0

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