ERIC Number: EJ953384
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 5
Reading Research on Core Values, Christian Ethos and School Transformation at England's Most Improved Academy: A Reply to Bragg, Allington, Simmons and Jones
Pike, Mark A.
Oxford Review of Education, v37 n4 p567-570 2011
This article presents the author's reply to the comments of Bragg, Allington, Simmons and Jones to his article "Transaction and transformation at Trinity" (Pike, 2010) wherein he reported a case study of Trinity Academy, which serves a former mining community and social priority area near Doncaster in South Yorkshire. In 2008, just before the research commenced, Trinity was designated the "Most improved academy nationally". Educational attainment was significantly below the national average at the secondary school replaced by Trinity Academy where the average over the previous five years (2001-2005) was for just 28% of students to gain five or more GCSE passes at grade C or higher. Trinity opened in 2005 and the author reported that by 2009, 85% of students achieved five or more GCSE passes at grade C or better. More significantly, the proportion of students gaining five or more GCSE A-C grades "including English and mathematics" increased from 20% in 2006 to 55% in 2009. Such improvement is significant when one considers that the area is a "one-school-town" as far as secondary education is concerned and there is no test of any sort for admission. The author contends that this is important because it should not be those children whose parents can afford to live in the most affluent areas that get the best education. It is especially important that young people attending Trinity achieve such results because since the 1980s jobs have been scarce in the former mining community it serves which was ranked in the worst 10% nationally for unemployment and in the worst 4% in the country as regards educational attainment just before it opened. Health levels were within the worst 5% nationally and the area also had the fourth highest concentration of single-parent families nationally. With appalling social mobility in England it is vital that areas such as the one served by Trinity should provide high quality "free" schooling for young people. That is why the author is pleased to report that in 2010, 95% of students at Trinity gained five or more GCSE A-C grades with the proportion "including English and mathematics" having increased to 63% and to note that the latest Ofsted report describes students as making "exceptional progress" (Ofsted, 2011, p. 4).
Descriptors: Educational Attainment, Foreign Countries, Values, Social Mobility, School Restructuring, Christianity, Case Studies, Mining, Educational Improvement, Secondary School Students, English, Mathematics Achievement, Grades (Scholastic), Health, One Parent Family, Disadvantaged, Access to Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)