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Altwood School hits back at 'England's worst' label over Government scores

A headteacher has hit back after his school was named among ‘England’s worst’ in the national press.

Figures released by the Department for Education (DfE) last week showed Altwood CE School, in Altwood Road, was ‘well below average’ in its Progress 8 score.

But in an open letter to parents headteacher Neil Dimbleby warned against ‘reading headlines without the full context’ and that the school was more concerned with providing ‘moral purpose’ and a safe environment – instead of forcing all pupils to sit exams in eight different subjects.

Progress 8 scores are based on a comparison of test results from Key Stage 2 and primary school level up to GCSE, including English, maths and science.

Mr Dimbleby said: “We do not insist students take a full complement of subjects as it may not be in their best interests.

“However, for our school this inevitably means our Progress 8 score will suffer.

“We believe as a faith school that we should offer a curriculum which best fits the needs of our learners rather than the political agenda of the government in power at the time.”

According to the DfE, Altwood had a Progress 8 score of -0.53 compared to the

average figure for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead of 0.13.

The national average for English state schools was 0.03.

The best performing school for Progress 8 in the borough was Newlands Girls’ School, in Farm Road, which had a score of 0.67.

Altwood was rated Good in all areas by Ofsted inspectors in November, just two-and-a-half years after it had been marked Requires Improvement by assessors.

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