The private schools at the bottom of the GCSE league tables

The Telegraph, 29/01/15, lists the independent schools left at the bottom of official rankings, many because they shun conventional GCSEs in favour of alternative International GCSEs.

Many of the country’s top independent schools are placed at the bottom of new league tables because they are opting for alternative International GCSEs (IGCSEs) instead of the conventional exams.

Although some IGCSEs are included in the tables, many are not recognised, meaning schools that took those qualifications last summer have performed poorly in the key measure of the proportion of pupils gaining at least five C grades, including English and maths.

This has left dozens of leading private schools at the foot of the GCSE performance table.

Here we list the 233 independent schools which entered at least 40 pupils for exams but appear at the bottom of the rankings because they registered 0 per cent for the proportion of pupils gaining five A* to C grades including English and maths.

They may have registered 0 per cent for a variety of reasons. Some schools will have been given “zero” for the five A* to C threshold as a result of entering all pupils for a combined English GCSE, rather than a separate English language exam.

The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference described the situation as "absurd".

Writing for the Telegraph, Richard Harman, chairman of the HMC and headmaster of Uppingham School in Rutland, Leics, said that the system "devalues the huge achievements of the thousands of pupils who have worked hard for their IGCSEs and are wondering why they are not being recognised."

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “As part of our plan for education we are making GCSEs more ambitious and putting them on a par with the best in the world, to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain.

“The changes may result in some variation across all types of schools, ensuring they are held to account for the right outcomes. We issued guidance to all schools on this."

See the list here © The Telegraph