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Cardiff High School refuses to enter ‘limited’ league table

Exterior of main building at Cardiff High School

Sunday Times rankings do not reflect hard work going on in Welsh schools, say staff

STAFF at Cardiff High School chose not to be included in The Sunday Times’ school league table published this weekend, as they feel the ranking does not accurately reflect education in Wales.

The mixed comprehensive school on Llandennis Road, Cyncoed has some of the highest exam results in Cardiff and is rated excellent in all Estyn categories, but did not feature in the rankings because the school declined to give the paper its data.

Outside of Cardiff High School main building
Cardiff High School is widely viewed as one of the best schools in the city

Headteacher Stephen Jones said the league table does not fully represent Welsh education.

“People don’t realise this list is self-selecting. They write to schools asking for results information, and we consistently choose not to give it because it does not always reflect the hard work that goes on in schools in Wales,” he said.

The 27th edition of Parent Power in The Sunday Times identifies the 2,000 highest-achieving schools in the UK based on their 2019 A-Level and GCSE results.

“The rankings provide a very limited picture.”

– Heather Lewis, assistant head teacher

Heather Lewis, assistant head, said: “You can’t give a whole range of data. This year they only wanted the numbers of A*-As at GCSE and A*s-B at A Level, which are double weighted. It doesn’t give credit to schools and it’s not in the spirit of schools supporting each other.”

Mrs Lewis also said the rankings provide “a very limited picture of the school as a whole and give the impression that As and Bs are the only grades that matter”.

In 2019, 86% of students at Cardiff High School achieved five GCSES at grade C or above, including maths and English. A total of 97% of pupils achieved at least five A*-C grades, and no student finished year 11 without at least five A* to G grades.

There are currently 1,613 pupils at the school, the majority coming from the surrounding areas of Cyncoed, Lakeside and Roath.

Six schools in Cardiff were included in the league table. Cardiff Sixth Form College on Newport Road was the top Welsh independent secondary school, placing 13th in the UK. Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, Bridge Road, was the top state secondary school in Wales.

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