Reach Academy Feltham, a free school that opened in 2012 in one of London’s most deprived areas, saw 96% of its students get grade 4 or above in English and maths (the equivalent of C or above in the old system). In addition, 80% obtained 5 or above in English and 9% got the top grade in maths (grade 9), three times the predicted national level. Overall, 57% obtained the EBacc, more than twice last year’s national level.
Last year, the comprehensive that topped the table – Gordon’s School in Woking – saw 97% of its pupils getting C or above in English and maths, and the top performer in 2015 was King Solomon Academy in Marylebone, where 95% of students got C or above in English and maths.
Reach Academy Feltham is an all-through school catering to children aged 4 to 18 and the Reach Academy Trust was given a green light to open a second free school last year. 34.2% of the students at Reach are from disadvantaged backgrounds (on free school meals at some point in the last six years), which is well above the national average.
Ed Vainker, the headteacher, said: "Our pupils have worked hard to achieve these results and had great support from their parents and teachers. The school’s vision is that every pupil lead a life of choice and opportunity, and these pupils are on that path."
Toby Young, director of the New Schools Network, said: “I’m delighted that a free school has done so well. Reach Academy is a great example of what I would call a ‘Gromp’ – a school that combines the academic standards of an old-fashioned grammar with the inclusive ethos of a modern comprehensive. If we’re serious about tackling low levels of social mobility, we need many more schools like this.”
Other free schools that have done well this year include:
4+ in E+m
5+ in E+m
|Reach Academy Feltham||96%||80%||57%|
|Holyport College, Windsor||84%||62%||45%|
|Dixons Kings Academy, Bradford||80%||57%||56%|
|Holy Trinity School, Kidderminster||90%|
|Khalsa Secondary Academy, Stoke Poges||64%||54%|
|Ixworth Free School, Suffolk||71%|
|Stour Valley Community School, Suffolk||68%|
|Saxmundham Free School, Suffolk||65%|
|Beccles Free School, Suffolk||61%|
|IES Breckland, Suffolk||52%||30%|
Empty cells will be filled in as schools announce their results.
++ Update ++
The top-performing free schools have also done well when it comes to the percentage of their students getting the top grade.
At Dixons Trinity Academy in Bradford, 12% of those students who took the new GCSE in English Literature got 9s, compared to only 3.3% of students nationally. At the West London Free School in Hammersmith, 8.4% of entrants in English Literature got 9s, while in maths 5.9% got 9s compared to 3.5% nationally. At the Greenwich Free School in south-east London, 7% of entrants in English Language got 9s compared to 2.6% nationally.
|School Name||9 in English Literature||9 in English Language||9 in Maths|
|Dixons Academy Trinity||12%||4%||5%|
|Tauheedul Islam Boys' High School||7%||4%||9%|
|King's Leadership Academy, Warrington||2.3%||2.3%||2.3%|
|Greenwich Free School||6.5%||7%||4.5%|
|West London Free School||8.4%||5.9%||5.9%|