At what age should we segregate our children?

Academic selection into separate schools tends to polarise commentators into those that think it is acceptable and those who think it is wrong. And yet most people agree that selection is acceptable at 18 and wrong at age 4. So the point of contention is surely what the right age to allow academic selection is. [...]

By | August 30th, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

GCSE results day 2016: Entry numbers and A*-C pass rates by subject

Entries in most EBacc subjects increased... Although there was a small reduction in the number of 16 year olds in the UK in 2016 compared to 2015, entries in most EBacc subjects increased. Entries in core and additional science increased by the greatest margin as schools continue to switch pupils out of the BTEC science [...]

By | August 26th, 2016|Exams and assessment|

The curious rise and rise of the religious studies GCSE

Yesterday's GCSE results showed schools strongly switching students away from non-EBacc subjects as they try to fill up the Progress 8 EBacc slots. Religious Studies GCSE, which was controversially not deemed to be suitable as an EBacc humanity, is one subject bucking this trend with yet another year-on-year increase in entries. However, this is not [...]

By | August 26th, 2016|Exams and assessment|

GCSE results day 2016: The key trends in five charts

At a headline level, results have fallen this year A*-A results were down from 22.3 per cent of all results last year, to 21.7 per cent of all results this year. On the headline A*-C measure, results were down from 70.8 per cent to 69.5 per cent. (Figures given here and in the rest of [...]

By | August 25th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision, School accountability|

Repeat After ‘E’: the treadmill of post-16 GCSE maths and English retakes

Today will not be a happy occasion for the typical 17 year old re-taking GCSE maths and/or English. The government now requires them to continue studying these subjects if they did not achieve a grade C at age 16 and many are entered for these qualifications again after just a year of additional study. For [...]

By | August 25th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

Do you really need to wait to calculate Progress 8?

There has been some discussion on blogs and twitter in recent days about whether schools should try calculating Progress 8 on results day. Given that it is the measure used to define the floor standard, it is quite understandable that schools will want to know as soon as possible where they lie in relation to [...]

By | August 25th, 2016|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

A-Level results day 2016: Entries and grades in the new ‘decoupled’ AS-Levels

This year’s AS-Level results include the first set of decoupled subjects, which won't count towards English students' final A-Level grades next year. Declines in UK entry numbers in the decoupled subjects range from 11% (business studies) to 33% (art and design). Why not enter for AS-Level? Examination fees cost money, and schools’ post-16 budgets are already stretched from funding reforms which have [...]

By | August 18th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

A-Level results day 2016: Did a good summer for Welsh football herald a bad summer for Welsh boys’ results?

A-Level examination sittings, which stretch from mid-May through to the end of June, often overlap with an international football tournament. Unfortunately, football lovers, who are more likely to be boys than girls, can find this a distraction from their revision schedule. Economists at the University of Bristol have noticed how this has damaged English boys [...]

By | August 18th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

A-Level results day 2016: The key trends in four charts

Overall, A-Level pass rates have stayed broadly the same A*-A rates were down marginally from 25.9 per cent to 25.8 per cent of all entries. A*-C rates increased slightly from 77.3 per cent to 77.6 per cent, while A*-E rates stayed unchanged, with 98.1 of all entrants achieving a pass. A-Level entry numbers are down [...]

By | August 18th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|