The Department for Education (DfE) has finally published secondary school performance tables. This is the validated data from examinations taken last summer.
The national average for the proportion of pupils gaining five ‘good’ GCSES (grades A* to C, including English and maths) was 57.1%, a slight increase on 56.6% in 2014. There was, however, a marked difference in achievement between the genders, with 61.8% of girls achieving this level compared to 52.5% of boys. Of pupils eligible for the pupil premium, just 36.7% reached this benchmark compared to 64.7% of other pupils.
Progress 8, a measure based on progress from end of key stage 2 to end of key stage 4 in a suite of eight subjects, will replace five ‘good’ GCSEs as one of the headline indicators from 2016. Schools had the option to opt-in to the measure in 2015.
At A level, the DfE welcomed figures showing that more than half of A-level entries were in the “facilitating subjects” which it believes best prepare pupils for employment and higher education.
Governing boards can use the performance tables to compare their school’s performance to that of other schools, including ‘similar’ schools (those which have comparable prior pupil attainment). See our blog about data for more suggestions for how to make the most of this data.