Bassingbourn Village College parent slams ‘unfair’ extra tuition for high-achieving students

PUBLISHED: 07:59 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:17 07 September 2017

A parent has criticised Bassingbourn Village College for being

A parent has criticised Bassingbourn Village College for being "secretive" about GCSE maths tuition only offered to certain students.

Archant

The parent of a student who took her GCSEs at Bassingbourn Village College this year has said it’s unfair the school offered extra maths tuition to high-achieving students, and not to others needing extra support to get the top grades.

The mother of a student at Bassingbourn Village College has said it’s unfair the school offered extra maths tuition to high-achieving students, and not to others needing extra support to get the top grades.

When GCSE results were opened two weeks ago, a quarter of students at the school in South End achieved eight or more of the highest grades – A*, A or 7, 8, or 9 under the new system for English and maths.

One parent has told the Crow how her child, who achieved a level 6 in maths – akin to a B under the old system – has had to “rethink their career choice” after not getting the extra tuition others got, and failing to secure a top grade in the subject.

The parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “First and foremost, the school has prioritised certain children and that’s not right.

“The tuition should be for the benefit of every student, not the few who they go out of their way for to bring prestige to the school.

“It is disappointing, because we were told by a member of staff in April my daughter would get the extra tuition.

“My child was offered tuition in another subject which ran at the same time as maths, but I was told by the head of maths all students would be getting tuition as standard which is why we chose the other tuition at that time.

“She wants to be an engineer and now can’t study maths at Hills Road Sixth Form College – fortunately now she has a satisfactory alternative.

“It is concerning how secretive it all was – only certain children were sent letters offering tuition.

“She didn’t get an A in maths,I’ve sat with my child in tears because she can’t study what she needs to.

“The reality the school are more concerned about promoting an image than giving all children a chance.

A BVC spokeswoman said: “All students are taught by specialist staff, with support when needed from a specialist teaching assistant.

There are six teaching groups for 126 staff. This means students benefit from small class sizes and personalised learning to meet the needs of all leaners.

“Extra tuition is in place to support students in specific areas of learning. This isn’t always a blanket arrangement – not all leaners need this support.

“Regarding this specific case, this extra tuition was aimed specifically at level 9 topics – the student involved achieved a level 6, target level 7, this student was also offered to go to other additional sessions on Wednesday – but didn’t attend any.”

BVC principal Duncan Cooper said: “We have just celebrated yet another year of excellent exam results and I share my staff’s pride in our students and their achievements.

“Progress at the school is very good – our students work hard and we fully support them with the opportunity to attend extra workshops and tuition sessions where appropriate.”

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