This seems a far fairer approach, but it does mean that some students’ poor progress will have a detrimental effect on a school’s overall Progress 8 score. This is where GCSEPod comes into its own.
We’re not alone in this belief.
Last summer, North Huddersfield Trust School achieved its best-ever set of exam results, and the highest Progress 8 scores across all high schools in Huddersfield. School leadership believes that GCSEPod undoubtedly had a role to play in this success.
Nick Howe, a consultant at the school, said: “Progress 8 is generally agreed to provide a much fairer means of comparing schools.
“Whilst our exam results are not the highest in the local area, we are most certainly helping our students to progress. Our positive +0.28 score, when compared to all schools nationally, is way above many high achieving schools and a true reflection of all our hard work and determination.
“As part of our commitment to raising standards, we introduced GCSEPod. Our highest GCSEPod user also achieved the school’s second-highest Progress 8 score. But she was not alone. Data shows a direct correlation between usage and positive progress amongst our top users.”
At Daventry’s Parker E-ACT Academy, principal Andrew Mackereth is using GCSEPod to boost progress amongst target groups of students. He said: “When I joined the academy, a large proportion of the students and indeed the staff only knew the school as a failing one. We had to be different, be the best we could be.
“GCSEPod has become an increasingly important part of school life. Initially, it was used as an independent learning resource outside of school. It is now being used across the school with different student and teaching groups.
“Our SENCO department are now using GCSEPod as a targeted learning resource to meet the specific needs of their learners. It is clear from our data to see that GCSEPod appeals to a huge spectrum of students – from our high achievers to the most disaffected learners.
“It really is such a powerful tool with such wide appeal, that I don’t know why every school up and down the country doesn’t have it to offer.”