GCSE results: New Ely College principal describes results as ‘disappointing and not what we had hoped for’

Ely College. Picture: Steve Williams.

Ely College. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The new principal of Ely College has described her school’s GCSE results, published today, as “disappointing and not what we had hoped for”.

Evelyn Forde has taken charge at Ely College.

Evelyn Forde has taken charge at Ely College. - Credit: Archant

Only 36 per cent of Year 11 students achieved the government’s benchmark of 5 A*-C grades including maths and English.

In a statement Evelyn Forde, who took over as principal in April, said: “Our GCSE results this year are disappointing and not what we had hoped for with only 36 per cent of students achieving 5 A*-C including English and Maths.

“Our Maths results are 52 per cent and our English are 43 per cent.

“However there are individual successes with some students picking up a suite of A and A* grades; we are very proud of them.”

Ms Forde added: “Since taking up the post in April I have been resolute in my determination to make changes at Ely College to ensure that all students fulfil their potential.

“Moving forward therefore, I am confident that the work that has been done since April and my relentless focus on good quality teaching will ensure much better outcomes in the future.”

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Ms Forde took over as principal in April, days after a damning Ofsted inspection plunged Ely College, an academy run by CfBT Education Trust, into special measures.

Catherine Jenkinson-Dix stood down as principal, and Martha Ball and Richard Baker resigned as vice-principals. All three left when the spring term ended.

The Ofsted report said standards in numeracy and literacy had dropped, targets for students were unrealistic and changes in staffing had reduced the quality of teaching.

Inspectors also said that “too many students” were being removed from lessons during the day because of behavioural problems and blamed the school’s zero-tolerance policy on “many days of learning being lost”.

One of Cambridgeshire’s most senior education officials, Keith Grimwade, described the Ofsted inspection of Ely College as “one of the worst reports we have read”. His comment was included in an e-mail obtained by the Ely Standard under a Freedom of Information request.

Mrs Jenkinson-Dix launched an official complaint against Ofsted shortly after leaving. The basis of her complaint is that the findings were “insecure and an incomplete inspection”.