Future Leader schools top Northern Powerhouse Partnership’s ‘fairer league table’

Oct. 29, 2019

Today, the Northern Powerhouse Partnership published its first Fair Secondary School Index in partnership with the University of Bristol. Three of the schools in top 10 are, or have recently been, led by headteachers who have completed Ambition Institute’s Future Leaders programme, including the school rated number one in the country.

Find out more about Future Leaders >

The Fair Secondary School Index reviews schools’ Progress 8 scores whilst accounting for factors such as pupil ethnicity, deprivation and special education needs. Using this ‘adjusted’ model, a fifth of schools saw their national league table position change by over 500 places. 

In her foreword to the Index, Lucy Powell MP argues that, “The league tables and data that we use to judge schools are often more a measure of the school’s intake than the quality of teaching, learning and real progress being made in that school. Indeed, Ofsted themselves often reward these same measures, and therefore a school’s intake, when giving their judgements as headteachers and others have warned.  

“This independent Fair Secondary School Index uses much more detailed data and analysis to arrive at fairer and deeper understandings of what makes a good school, often turning league table standings on their heads. We can see from this that some schools operating in the most challenging contexts are doing an outstanding job. Other schools that may have previously escaped scrutiny actually require support.”

The Future Leader schools in the top 10 are Dixons Trinity Academy in Bradford – named the best secondary school in the country – Ormiston Chadwick Academy, and Kingswood Academy. 

Raksha Pattni, Ambition Institute’s Director of School Partnerships in the North, welcomed the news: 

“I am so proud to see three of our long-standing school partners getting the recognition they deserve in the Fair Secondary School Index. This is testament to the incredible work that the schools’ leaders, teachers and pupils have put in over recent years. 

“We know that the Future Leaders programme has a significant impact on the leaders who are part of it, and on the schools that they serve. Dixons Trinity, Ormiston Chadwick and Kingswood exemplify the incredible effect this is having in Bradford, Widnes and Hull; but there are also many other Future Leaders multiplying this impact in schools in disadvantaged contexts across the North, and the country. 

“As a member of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership’s education board, I am excited about the potential for Ambition Institute, and the educators we work with, to continually raise standards for schools and their pupils across the North of England.” 


Find out more about Future Leaders >