Jersey head warns against over-emphasis on exam results

Schools could be forced to reduce the number of subjects they teach if there is too much emphasis on exam results, a Jersey head teacher has said.

The education department will publish a breakdown of GCSE results per school in the next two months.

Le Rocquier School head Richard Rolfe said focusing on academic success could mean less time being spent on sports, the arts and vocational subjects.

He said many of his school's subjects could end up being under threat.

Mr Rolfe said: "The dangers are, and I'm thinking very carefully about this, you end up trying to jump through hoops to claw your way up a league table and the victims are the children, families and the curriculum because it becomes narrowed.

"We've introduced electrical work, we've got children who can wire a whole ringmain, we've got plumbing, we've got carpentry, we've got catering and all of those would have to go."

Vulnerable children

Mr Rolfe said lower grades were to be expected at the four States non-selective secondary schools because of the way the education system works.

He said putting pressure on schools to achieve better exam results could leave them reluctant to educate the most vulnerable children, adding that parents should look beyond exam results to the whole ethos of a school.

In February concerns were raised that past exam results showed pupils in States secondary schools achieved lower grades than most teenagers in the UK.

Jersey's education department released the headline results on Thursday but said it would take up to eight weeks to release individual school performances.

A Freedom of Information request revealed in February that state secondary schools performed worse at GCSEs than almost all UK schools.

Jim Westwater from the education department said the overall percentage of pupils getting top grades in Jersey was up on 2010.

He said 73.6% of Jersey pupils achieved an A* to C grade at GCSE.

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