The Lancashire Evening Post have published a list of schools in the Preston area, ranked by their "Progress 8" score.  We do not look great on that list, to put it mildly, and therefore some clear explanation is needed.

We are a highly inclusive school, and proud of it, and we educate young people of all abilities, aptitudes and talents.  This means that we work with, and seek the best for, each individual young person right through their time with us. Our distinctive child-centred, inclusive ethos is why many parents/carers choose our school and why we are full overall and oversubscribed in several year groups. Some of the young people that we work with face barriers to their learning which means that their achievements are not measured by GCSE scores, but we are equally proud of them. Simply put, if you remove just seven such students from the calculations then our league table position moves into line with other schools in our area.

My account of our results day emphasised the outstanding achievements of our most able, and that is still true.  We are also proud of the smaller steps made by some of our students and the way in which they have, despite adversity, gone on to college and employment, able to contribute to society.  Our destination figures - those who progress onto and sustain further education and employment - are a source of much satisfaction for us at Walton-le-Dale.

I hope that this explains why our simplistic league table "ranking" looks unimpressive - it hides the work that our talented, committed staff do with every single young person who walks through our doors.  It continues to be the case that those students who work hard and work with us do very well indeed.

Should you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me at school.

James Harris