Measuring success and happiness

Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph online included an interesting graphic which mapped independent schools’ GCSE grades against their termly fees. I am pleased to report that LGS fared particularly well, sitting towards the most positive extreme of the quartile reflecting ‘Low Fees High Grades’. The interactive tool allows the user to search for every school in England - where their GCSE results are publicly available - and to see how they fare against others in terms of value for money:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/10/22/revealed-gcse-grades-versus-fees-find-leading-private-schools/amp/

We are very aware that our parents make significant sacrifices to send their children to LGS, and, as an academic school, it is therefore vitally important that we maximise our pupils’ opportunities to excel – relative to their abilities. We want to ensure that they can access the best opportunities beyond school and that their achievements leave them with the choice to do so. This is one measure of our success (or one key performance indicator), and one that we keep under close review in order to refine teaching and learning strategies in our quest for pupils to achieve the best possible outcomes.

We have various metrics or KPIs to gauge our success as a school, and, in devising some of these, we have to be quite creative: we are not a factory producing engine-parts, and outcomes cannot be guaranteed. Behind the statistics lie individuals, for whom there is no unique formula which leads to success and happiness. The intangible elements of a good education are the hardest to measure, but they are often the most important.

Last night we enjoyed a very positive Year 12 parents’ evening, with ample evidence of teachers and students working closely together to engender a love of learning and to achieve success. I never cease to be impressed by our Sixth Formers’ natural and unaffected self-confidence and I know how much our staff care about their development as well-rounded and well-adjusted human beings. We know that, in an increasingly technological world, the softer skills of creativity and emotional intelligence will actually become ever-more important. Good grades alone will not suffice; it is the ‘intangibles’ which will make the difference and help our pupils to thrive – in every aspect of their lives.

Best wishes

John Watson
Headmaster and Principal