Christ the King Centre for Learning in Huyton, Merseyside, which was opened by Labour’s Ed Balls in 2009 at a cost of £25million, is one of 10 schools where more than half the pupils failed to achieve a single GCSE at grade C or above.
It was recently branded “inadequate” by Ofsted inspectors, who pinpointed weaknesses in pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills. The inspectors also found a culture of low expectations had become established throughout the school.
The local Knowsley council has promised to improve standards.
A spokesman said, “Raising attainment is a key priority for the council and £2.2million has been pledged to help improve the GCSE performance of our students.” The 10 schools were named and shamed by the Department for Education after a plea by Tory MP Andrew Griffiths.
He said, “These figures paint a stark picture of the way some schools have been failing our children. We cannot accept such poor outcomes.
“For too long we allowed standards to be dumbed down instead of focusing on rigour and getting the basics right. These statistics should be a wake-up call for us all.”
Until now, schools have been able to disguise the scale of their failings by using vocational qualifications in non-academic subjects such as hairdressing to boost their position in league tables. For the first time these “Mickey Mouse” qualifications have now been excluded from the figures.