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New stats: GCSE and equivalent results 2016/17 (provisional)


The Department for Education (DfE) has published provisional statistics on the achievements of young people at the end of key stage four (KS4) in England for the 2016 to 2017 academic year.

The 2017 headline accountability measures for secondary schools are as follows: Attainment 8, Progress 8, attainment in English and maths at grades five or above, EBacc entry and achievement (including a grade five or above in English and maths), and destinations of pupils after KS4. This provisional release looks primarily at the 2017 headline measures with comparisons made to 2016 results wherever possible.

Key findings:

  • In comparison with 2016, the average Attainment 8 score per pupil has decreased by four points for all schools (to 44.2) and by 3.8 points for state-funded schools (to 46.0) in 2017. These decreases are as expected following changes to the 2017 point scores assigned to grades because of the introduction of the nine to one GCSEs in performance tables
  • In comparison with 2016, the proportion of pupils entering the EBacc has decreased by 1.7 ppt for all schools (to 34.9 per cent) and by 1.5 ppt for state-funded schools (to 38.1 per cent)
  • In 2017, 21.1 per cent of pupils achieved the EBacc by gaining grades five or above in English and maths GCSEs and grades C or above in unreformed qualifications. However, 23.5 per cent of pupils achieved the EBacc by gaining grades four or above in English and maths GCSEs and grades C or above in unreformed subject areas. This figure is most comparable to 2016 data because the bottom of a grade four in reformed GCSEs maps onto the bottom of a grade C in unreformed GCSEs. Comparison of the grade four or above figure with the 2016 provisional data shows a decrease in EBacc achievement of 1 ppt
  • There is a large increase of 6.2 ppt in the percentage of pupils entering for only four pillars of the EBacc – up to 43.7 per cent in 2017 from 37.5 per cent based on equivalent data in 2016
  • Of those pupils who entered four of the five EBacc pillars, the majority (80.4 per cent) were missing the languages pillar in 2017
  • Progress 8 scores for mainstream schools at school level run from -2.5 to 1.8 with approximately 99 per cent of schools' scores between -1.6 and +1.2 in 2017. The Progress 8 measure should not be compared year-on-year. 

About the data:

  • Decreases across the headline measures in 2017 are because of a number of methodological changes, including the move to a new point score scale for 2017 Attainment 8 scores, the introduction of reformed GCSEs in English and maths graded on the nine to one scale and changes to the attainment threshold for the EBacc and the English and maths measure
  • In 2017, more than 30,000 pupils at the end of KS4 were entered for either unreformed English or maths GCSEs despite these qualifications not counting in 2017 performance tables. These pupils were not entered for the reformed GCSEs in the same subject, which will have had an impact on Attainment 8, Progress 8, the EBacc entry measure and the attainment in English and maths measures. 

Read the full report here.

First published 12 October 2017