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Independent Schools ‘Add Value’

Posted: 17th May 2015

The Telegraph recently published an article detailing how “Private school pupils are continuing to outshine their state sector counterparts by a wide margin when it comes to A-level results, new figures show”. Link to Telegraph article.

Whilst the debate around private versus state schooling continues, along with arguments about the reasons for this disparity, Tracy Cook, of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), which conducted the study believes that “It is indicative of the significant added value provided by independent schools, due to factors such as intensive, focused teaching and smaller class sizes”. I don’t disagree with this. In fact, I believe that the different components of the provision here at Brampton produce exceptional added value and, in turn, outstanding results.

How does Brampton College ‘add value’?

Added value measures the progress that learners make relative to their prior educational attainment. On this Department for Education’s measure of ‘Value Added’, Brampton College was placed 4th in the country. This is out of over 2,600 schools and colleges, both state and private, and a significant achievement.

This remarkable level of improvement from GCSE to A level demonstrates our college’s unique qualities and absolute focus on the individual student to help them succeed in their aspirations and achieve their best possible exam results. We find that when students have their individual needs identified we can provide strategies to help them succeed and improve their resilience and self-belief. This is why they improve.

Our model therefore places an emphasis on individual support and mentoring to help identify these students’ needs. Class sizes are small, with an average of seven, and weekly tutorials are available in all subjects to review coursework and tests, discuss areas of difficulty and to prepare and build confidence for exams. Through our specialised and comprehensive UCAS programme, the college also provides careful guidance and expertise in obtaining a university place.

We also closely monitor students’ progress in a way that is unique and more rigorous than in most other establishments. Weekly or fortnightly tests are an integral feature of all courses and a critical factor in the success of their students. They identify areas of weakness and help students gain the confidence and techniques for succeeding in exams. Heads of Department supervise progress using these weekly test and homework marks, and these records are then passed on to each student’s Personal Tutor to discuss with them in their weekly meeting. The Principal and Vice Principals also meet every week to discuss student performance, which means action can be taken if a student is making insufficient progress towards achieving their aims. It’s this individual attention and support within a relaxed and friendly environment that is our winning formula.

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