A-Level results day 2017: A look at changing grade distributions

We looked at some of the main A-Level results trends this morning, and separately we have looked at how results changed in subjects that have been reformed (in brief: attainment fell slightly). But there are a couple of other interesting trends in grade distributions to be drawn out. Some specific subjects are seeing quite large [...]

By | August 17th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

A-Level results day 2017: The impact of reform in England and Wales

A massive 59% of A-Level exams sat in England this year were in reformed subjects which follow the new, linear model of sitting one set of exams at the end of the two-year course. Overall, and perhaps surprisingly, A-Level entries by 18-year-olds in reformed subjects increased by 2.3% in England. This compares to 0.7% in [...]

By | August 17th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

A-Level results day 2017: Is it the end of the road for AS-Levels?

Last year, we reported on entries and grades in the first set of AS-Levels to be reformed. Compared to 2015, entries fell in all subjects, ranging from 11% (business studies) to 33% (art and design). This year, more subjects have been reformed and decoupled from A-Levels. Data published by Ofqual earlier in the summer showed [...]

By | August 17th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

A-Level results day 2017: The key trends in three charts

Overall, A-Level pass rates have edged up slightly A*-A passes were up slightly (26.3% of all awards v 25.8% last year), though the overall A*-E pass rate was down slightly (97.9% v 98.1%). The proportion of A*s awarded was also up - to 8.3% of all awards, versus 8.1% last year. However, in England the [...]

By | August 17th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

Can we compare the A-Level performance of independent schools and state schools?

Last week the TES ran a story based on some research by Tom Richmond [PDF] comparing the A-Level value added scores of independent schools and state schools. In the story, the average value added score for the 10 highest attaining independent schools was given as 0.19, and for the 10 highest attaining non-selective state schools 0.26[1]. [...]

By | August 14th, 2017|Post-16 provision, School accountability|

Measuring two-year retention post-16: what does it show?

Each year, the government of the day publishes performance indicators about schools and colleges. While ostensibly they provide the public (and particularly parents) with information, and so inform choice, they are also a lever to encourage the system to function in the way the government wants. Indicators come and go as governments change. Plans for [...]

By | August 9th, 2017|Post-16 provision, School accountability|

What might EBacc average points scores look like?

Although previous governments used the machinery of performance tables and school accountability to drive improvements in the education system, the Coalition government of 2010 was the first to use it to influence the qualifications that pupils entered at age 16. But for all the rhetoric about the damaging effects on curriculum offer of the English [...]

The correlation between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 value added

How well do schools’ value added (VA) scores at Key Stage 1 correlate with their value added scores at Key Stage 2? Do schools with high scores on one tend to achieve a high score on the other? Or do schools with low VA scores at KS1 tend to achieve high VA scores at KS2? [...]

By | August 2nd, 2017|School accountability, School improvement|

Long-term disadvantage, part three: Ethnicity, EAL and long-term disadvantage

This is part three in a series of blogposts exploring long-term disadvantage. Other posts in the series can be found here. The previous post touched on the relationship between ethnicity, disadvantage and KS2-to-KS4 progress. It made a simple distinction, with white British pupils in one group and all other minority ethnic pupils in another group. [...]

By | July 28th, 2017|Pupil demographics|