QE wins London-wide award for academic excellence

Schools Secretary Ed Balls and Ofsted Chief Inspector Christine Gilbert presented Queen Elizabeth’s School Headmaster John Marincowitz with the Evening Standard’s Secondary Academic Excellence Award.

QE was one of only four winning schools in the newspaper’s School Awards, which celebrate the best of state education in London.

In its citation for the awards, the Standard praised QE as “an academic powerhouse founded in 1573, with a brilliant record of sending boys to Oxford and Cambridge”. It also signalled the School’s achievement in being “regularly among the very best A Level and GCSE grades in the country”.

The winners were chosen from a shortlist supplied by Ofsted, based on the schools rated as outstanding during inspections the previous year. QE received its latest ‘outstanding’ rating in January 2008 –its fourth consecutive inspection grading at this highest level. Last year, 37 QE boys achieved places at Oxford and Cambridge.""

Mr Balls told pupils and teachers at the awards ceremony: “You are the outstanding schools of our capital and we are proud to salute your achievements. It is a great honour to be invited to see the Evening Standard celebrating the success and hard work of pupils, teachers and parents. Great education instills self-belief in children. That comes back to great teaching and leadership.”

Now in their 10th year, the awards honour primary and secondary schools for their achievements in providing an outstanding education, often in challenging circumstances. In addition to QE’s Secondary Academic Excellence Award, there were awards for Outstanding Achievement in Challenging Circumstances, Secondary Outstanding Achievement and Primary Academic Excellence. Each winning school receives a £2,000 prize.

Dr Marincowitz, who attended the ceremony at the Standard’s Kensington headquarters with a number of QE pupils, said during the event that boys at the School receive an “academic diet that’s appropriate for very able pupils”.""

He added: “They need to be in an environment where they can mix with other clever boys and spark each other off.”

Evening Standard Editor Geordie Greig said: “It is a proud moment for the paper to be able to honour these schools for their achievements.”

In her commentary on the awards, Christine Gilbert gave her insights into the secret of educational success: “We know that excellence does not happen by chance. The best schools concentrate on doing the important things well. They raise the hopes, the aspirations and indeed the achievements of all who attend the school. Students know what is expected of them, understand the consequences of not taking learning seriously and engage keenly. Staff tend to find considerable professional satisfaction and turnover is low. However large the school, it never loses a focus on the individual.""

“Many tell remarkably similar stories. Success is the result of a long, determined journey. Many heads have been in the school for a long time, bringing stability and building high expectations. The schools have close links with parents and the wider communities they serve. They place a high premium on teaching, and on supporting and training their staff. And they focus on the needs and progress of individual learners, making sure they achieve good skills and the best qualifications possible.”
Educational standards had improved in London in recent years, the Chief Inspector said, but there was more to be done to help the poorest children achieve academic success.