A HIGHBRIDGE school said it has made ‘strong progress’ despite being ranked as an under performing school in the latest round of Progress 8 scores.

Students at The King Alfred School are among a quarter-of-a-million children who are being taught at under-performing secondary schools, according to figures released by the government.

Ninety- five per cent of the school’s pupils stayed in education or went into employment but only 38 per cent of its students achieved a Grade 5 or above in Maths and English GCSE’s.

But a spokesman for The King Alfred School an Academy (TKASA) said the school has been making ‘excellent improvements’ over the year and praised its students for their hard work.

“The new Progress 8 measure is a bamboozling concept,” the spokesman said.

“ The score for TKASA this year is far better than last year.

“In fact, on Progress 8 King Alf’s is the most improved academy in Somerset moving from over -1 to -0.47.

“This is really strong progress in one year.

“In the 2018 results the school also had much improved Maths and English and there is more to come.

“The grade 4 combined English and Maths percentage rose by 5 per cent and the combined Grade 5 rose by 7 per cent.”

Figures released last week showed 11.6 per cent of state-funded mainstream schools, 346 in total, fell below the Government’s minimum standards in 2018.

This means around 282,600 schoolchildren are now being taught at under-performing secondaries - about 9.3 per cent.

Out of Somerset’s 28 state secondary schools, three have ‘well below average’ progress scores.

Only two schools, both small special schools with an employment/education rate of 100 per cent, ranked above TKASA in that category.

The TKASA spokesman added: “The new academy under principal Nathan Jenkins’ leadership is going quickly in the right direction.

“Our maths and English improvements are up 5 per cent each.

“Currently, we are recruiting students for the sixth form which has over time been a very strong feature at the school.”

Geoff Barton, of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Performance tables can never tell the full story of a school and we urge parents not to place too much weight on them.

“The tables are inherently flawed in that Progress 8 which is used to judge the performance of schools effectively penalises schools which have a high proportion of disadvantaged children.”