Staff angry at school threats

PUBLISHED: 15:48 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:05 12 August 2010

SCHOOL chiefs have slammed political threats to close schools and academies producing low GCSE results. Schools minister Ed Balls said

SCHOOL chiefs have slammed 'political threats' to close schools and academies producing low GCSE results.

Schools minister Ed Balls said £400 million will be spent on 'poor performing schools' where fewer than 30 per cent of pupils get five good GCSEs including maths and English.

Over 600 schools, including eight in Bromley, Greenwich and Bexley, were told "no excuses" by Mr Ball, who said they might be taken over by trusts or made into academies.

Staff at Kelsey Park Sports College, Beckenham, were left disillusioned and angry at Mr Balls.

Headteacher Brian Lloyd said: "We have boys come to us from a very low starting point. We have the fewest number of able pupils entering in the borough. Yet we've been praised by the council because 43 per cent of our students starting with level five English, make four levels of progress to A or A* at GCSE."

The college was rated 'good' in every area of its 2006 Ofsted report but last year saw pupils getting top GCSEs drop from 36 per cent to 27 per cent. Mr Lloyd added: "We know that was not good enough. But this announcement was the reaction of a government that is under pressure. They want to show people they are tough and won't let standards slip. Why wait until pupils are waiting to start year 7 before telling them their new school is failing? That's not fair on them."

A spokesman from the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "We make no apology for having high ambitions - all children deserve the opportunity to achieve. All children need the qualifications they have good life chances.

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