Top schools

Love’em or loathe’em, the biggest spread of school league tables can be found in the Sunday Times Parent Power supplements. In the top 100 state secondary schools ranked in order of combined highest % of A levels (A,B) and GCSE’s (A+/A) in what’s claimed to be “ the definitive guide to Britain’s top schools” Lumen Christi College, Londonderry is the top Northern Ireland school, coming in at a storming 17 (28 last year), followed by Methodist College Belfast at 72 (69), Sullivan Upper Holywood, 75 (87), Ballyclare High School 85 (93), Strathearn School Belfast 89 (62), and Banbridge Academy 93 (73). In a combined list of top independent and state schools, Lumen Christi would come in around 75th. Placings are affected by the number of entrants (the higher the number, the greater the risk of being knocked down a few points) and this particular list doesn’t give that information. By a very crude measure, if you count NI with 3% of the UK population, NI has 6% of the “ best “ secondary schools. But remember, Scotland is left out as they have Highers, not A levels and GCSEs. And pardon my ignorance if they exist, I’ve never seen any attempt at comparisons with school standards in the Republic.

  • heck

    My alma mater St malachy’s in belfast did not make the list–what are they doing wrong

  • feismother

    AFAIK the Catholic grammar schools (bar Lumen Christi) took a decision not to participate in this sort of table some years ago. I think Methody had the same policy but there must have been a change of mind. As it’s up to a school to opt in to this sort of table they end up being fairly meaningless.

    There are ROI league tables and a bit of googling will lead you to them.

  • Brian Walker

    I’m aware that there are ROI tables,value added for social background this year, and that NI league tables were scrapped years ago. But I’m talking about comparisons. So long as they’re value added l and are taken with a pinch of salt, I think some performance measuremnt is a valid aspect of accountability.

  • Pancho

    Ballyclare???? Should this not seem odd to me?

  • pete whitcroft

    Ballyclare High broke a world record this week also. Two of my chilter are now world record holders.

  • Pete

    Pretty meaningless unless we know what proportion of schools actually took part.

  • Observer

    Two things about this post, Brian,
    The vast majority of non state schools didn’t participate so it is meaningless the context of the six counties.
    Lumen Christie give their address as Derry, not Londonderry.
    Wonder how that slipped in?

  • Mick Fealty

    Your point about the Republic and Scotland are well made Brian, an not impossible to achieve if there was the will to do it.

    Also, it might be useful to clarify a point several posters have raised. Is this all A levels in all exam centres or have some been able to opt out of their results being included?

    Observer,

    We don’t do standard nomenclature on Slugger. Each to their own.

  • Brit

    Nice to see my old place in there, just.

    The increasing selectivity in the state sector, by relgion, entry tests and middle class flight to the suburbs is in my view a bad thing – and one which means that the those who most need and who could most benefit from a state eduction are likely to be left even further behind.

  • Observer

    Don’t we even try to be accurate, Mick?
    The school in question carry their address as Bishop Street, Derry.
    Why would anyone want to change that in an article about school performance?
    Why would anyone want to avoid the question?

  • smcgiff

    Observer…

    Might have been changed since. When I looked at this link when originally posted I thought it was Londonderry!

  • smcgiff

    Searching more on the website… probably was just Derry all along

  • Observer

    It’s a small thing, but it is the small, casual rebuffs to nationalists which evidence the malignancy that lies beneath this society.

  • Brit

    “It’s a small thing” but I’m going to make a mountain out of it to sustain the partial and one-eyed Republican narrative of unceasing victimhood.

  • Reader

    Observer: The school in question carry their address as Bishop Street, Derry.
    Why would anyone want to change that in an article about school performance?

    It was probably corrected with reference to the post code. It’s not as though the Sunday Times has a motive to persecute you all. Unless the Sunday Times is run by the DUP.
    Observer: It’s a small thing, but it is the small, casual rebuffs to nationalists which evidence the malignancy that lies beneath this society.
    The name of the city is actually still Londonderry. That isn’t a rebuff, that’s a fact.

  • Observer

    It’s disrespectful to the nationalist tradition and to the school in question.
    No amount of blathering can conceal the political nature of the reference.
    It is important to challenge the view that there is only one tradition of value in this society.
    A journalistic reference to the NIO as the Six County Office would hardly be acceptable to the denizens of Slugger. Might even warrant it’s own blood vessel bursting post.

    “to sustain the partial and one-eyed Republican narrative of unceasing victimhood.”

    Your contribution is immeasurable.

  • Reader

    Observer: It’s disrespectful to the nationalist tradition and to the school in question.
    No amount of blathering can conceal the political nature of the reference.
    It is important to challenge the view that there is only one tradition of value in this society.
    A journalistic reference to the NIO as the Six County Office would hardly be acceptable to the denizens of Slugger. Might even warrant it’s own blood vessel bursting post.

    Even supposing that a mainland based newspaper would realise there were people ready to take offence at a technical correction, why should they prefer to offend unionists rather than nationalists? After all – a previous poster has already explained why there was only one maintained school in the list – so who are the majority of the local readership for this article?
    And Southern newspapers would have made the converse decision, wouldn’t they? “one tradition of value”, eh?
    By the way – the name of the NIO *is* the ‘NIO’, and the name of the city *is* Londonderry. You need a different analogy. Try googling for ‘East Derry MP’, and ask yourself what his constituents think about the nationalist media renaming the constituency.

  • Observer

    “Even supposing that a mainland based newspaper would realise there were people ready to take offence at a technical correction,”

    The link was carried in the post on Slugger.
    I wasn’t aware that the story was carried by any of the European newspapers.