Release Date: 25 August 2017
Richmond Council has congratulated local schools following the publication of this year’s GCSE results – with an improvement in results in most schools, despite the new, tougher tests in English and Mathematics.
Provisional figures show that 77% of pupils achieved a grade four or above in English and Mathematics, which is roughly equivalent to the old C grade or above. This represents an increase of 6% points since the similar measure last year and is above the 2016 national average of 63%. 59% also secured a ‘good’ pass in both subjects, achieving a grade 5 or above.
The English Baccalaureate, which was expected to decline as it now uses the higher grade 5 or above in English and Mathematics, also saw an increase with results up 1% point to 43%, with improvements in the sciences, humanities and languages.
Cllr Susan Chappell, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Schools, said:
“This is another marker of the continued improvement in Richmond’s secondary schools, their staff and, of course, their students. Changes to the grading scales for English and Maths do make it difficult to immediate compare and contract with previous results. However, it is plain to see that nearly all of our schools have seen improvements.
“I would like to congratulate all those receiving their results and take the opportunity to thank their families and teachers for their support in a year where we have seen new grading structures in English and Mathematics.
“It is great, yet again to see how well our schools have performed, setting firm foundations for our students’ aspiring futures. This is an exciting time for our Year 11s as they move on to the next stage of their lives; many of them will go on to study at one of their local sixth forms, following on from the excellent results last week.
“Good luck to all the young people in the future, either at their local sixth form or other vocational options they may choose.”
*All GCSE results are currently provisional and will be confirmed over the next few weeks.
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Ofqual has changed the grading of English and Mathematics GCSEs to make them more challenging. Grading will now be from 9 to 1 (9 is the highest grade) rather than A* to G. In December 2016 Ofqual announced these changes, which schools have to comply with. Another 20 subjects will have this grading in 2018, with most others following in 2019.
The old and new GCSE grading scales do not directly compare but there are three points where they align:
In general, the Department for Education (DfE) expects a pupil who would have got a C or above in last year's exams to get a 4 or above this year.
These changes are only happening to GCSEs regulated in England. Wales and Northern Ireland are also making changes to their GCSEs but are not introducing a new 9 to 1 grading scale. There are currently no changes to AS or A level grading.
The GCSE grading scale in England has been changed by Ofqual to make it more demanding. They believe this will ensure that pupils will leave schools better prepared for work or further study. The DfE explains that the 9 to 1 grading scale allows clearer differentiation between highest performing pupils and makes clear distinction between old and new exams.
The DfE recognises grade 5 and above as a 'strong pass', a benchmark in line with the expectations of top performing education systems around the world. They will publish the proportion of pupils achieving both grade 4 and above and grade 5 and above.
Updated: 31 August 2017