Academy head to leave after inquiry

Happier days: James Fox with successful GCSE students in the summer
Happier days: James Fox with successful GCSE students in the summer

The principal of Portslade Aldridge Community Academy is leaving after an inquiry into exam statistics.

James Fox, the principal of Portslade Aldridge Community Academy, is leaving after an inquiry into exam statistics.

In a statement yesterday, the school said the inquiry concerned the accuracy of statistical returns provided by the school: "Specifically, the investigation looked into the registration of a small number of students as guests on the school’s data systems."

Guest pupils are those who attend an establishment regularly for some lessons, or on a one-off or short-term basis, but who remain registered elsewhere.

The inquiry related to the alteration of records for 12 pupils so that they appeared as “guests”. As a result, their attendance and GCSE grades were not counted towards performance results and tables for the school as a whole.The impact of this was that, in 2012-2013, the school’s benchmark result for the proportion of students achieving five or more passes at A*-C at GCSE, including mathematics and English, was reported as 60% - when it should have been reported as 55.6%.

Peter Marchant, who has been acting as executive director since September, will continue until the school recruits a permanent head to start in September 2015.