An academy headteacher defended his school's performance in league tables released by the Department for Education.

Westfield Academy, in Tolpits Lane, in Watford, was one of the schools at the bottom of the league table with only 20 per cent of their pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths.

In 2012, 69 per cent of Westfield students achieved these grades but more recent league tables show a decline.

Parents commented on the results on the Watford Observer website.

One reader, johnhornet, described the results as "truly horrible" and called for an inspection.

He said: “The Westfield results are truly horrible and hopefully will trigger an inspection to find out what is going on.”

The decrease in pass rates left many parents and readers unimpressed with the academy.

Another, Bored82, commented on our article on the performances reviews and said: “Not impressed with Westfield at all.

"And after a term of my child being there and the things I’ve seen and heard combined with those results I shall now be looking to move her.”

Others did not agree with the results published by the Department of Education and have defended the school's results.

One, Theturpster said: “In the five years my lad has been at the school, I can only praise the school for bringing out the best in him.”

The school was awarded academy status in 2013 and in the latest Ofsted inspection in 2012, the school was given its second highest ‘good’ rating, an improvement from the previous ‘satisfactory’.

Ofsted revealed to The Watford Observer that when a school becomes an academy there is an amount of time between inspections as it has become a new school.

The first inspection of all new schools, including academies, will usually takes place within three years of opening, which suggests the school is due for an inspection in 2016.

Westfield Academy has not responded to the Watford Observer's requests for a comment.

Another parent, choccy72, copied a letter into his comment he told the Observer was sent out by headteacher Tim Body sent out a letter on the school’s Parentmail system.

The letter reads: “Unfortunately, the league table has not included the English language results (grades A*-C) for more than 60 of our students, because they sat English literature and English language as two distinct GCSE qualifications.

“New guidelines for the league tables insist that students should either do English language on its own or English language and English literature together, not two distinct qualifications.

"This is particularly unfortunate because it misrepresents the excellent achievements that Westfield Academy students made in their GCSEs.”

According to the headteacher, 67 per cent of their students achieved an A*-C grade in English language and the overall percentage of students achieving five grades A*-C including English and maths was 56 per cent.

Mr Body continued in his letter: “More importantly, approximately 30 students achieved two GCSEs in English literature and English language who if we were focusing on league tables alone would have only a GCSE in English language.

“It’s important to remember that education is ultimately about young people learning and achieving good grades; not government league tables.”