Pupils at Michaela Community School achieved stellar GCSE results in 2019, the first year the school entered pupils for GCSE exams. Its Progress 8 score was among the top ten in England.
But the school doesn’t expect to repeat this success in 2020. Recently published accounts* show the school identifies a risk that GCSE results will fall ‘considerably’ this year because the GCSE cohort is ‘very challenging’. The school expects results to ‘climb’ when the third cohort takes GCSEs in 2021.
The school again says its teachers are at risk of ‘being harmed by pupils from other schools while out in the street’. This is the third year running that Michaela has identified this problem.
Other risks identified by the school are not being to recruit teachers of the ‘right calibre and approach’ for Science, Art and Music; ‘detractors from the outside harassing staff on social media’ and ‘not being able to fill the sixth form over time.’
The school has space for 120 pupils in each year of the sixth form but admits it is ‘unlikely’ to recruit this number for ‘many years’. The school currently has 63 pupils in year 12. Its proposed admission criteria stipulate that the ‘minimum qualification’ expected from applicants is seven GCSEs with ‘an average grade of 7 including English and Maths.’ Michaela is particularly ‘looking for applicants who aspire to get into Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities in the UK’.
Michaela has been approved to open a second free school in Stevenage.
*Accounts for year ending 31 August 2019 available from Companies House.