Options for setting the grade 9 boundary in GCSEs

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We were commissioned by Ofqual to consider the likely impact on different types of schools of different approaches to the award of grade 9 in new GCSEs.

Three approaches to the award of grade 9 were modelled:

  1. 20% approach: the grade 9 boundary in each subject is set so that the top 20% of students awarded at least a grade 7 is awarded a grade 9.
  2. Tailored approach: the grade 9 boundary is set so that over all subjects, 20% of students awarded at least a grade 7 are awarded a grade 9 but the exact percentage varies by subject. It is higher in those subjects with a higher proportion of students awarded at least a grade 7 and lower in those subjects with a lower proportion of students awarded at least a grade 7.
  3. 50% approach: the grade 9 boundary in each subject is set so that the top 50% of students currently awarded a grade A* is awarded a grade 9.

The analysis was based on a dataset comprising the exam results for students aged 15 to 16 years in summer 2014 in state-funded and independent schools.

You can contribute to the consultation here.

Grade 9 boundary

By | 2017-03-03T09:51:55+00:00 April 22nd, 2016|Exams and assessment, Reports|

About the Author:

Rebecca Allen is Director of Education Datalab and an expert in the analysis of large scale administrative and survey datasets, including the National Pupil Database and School Workforce Census. Her research explores the impact of government reforms on school behaviour, with a particular focus on accountability and teacher labour markets. She is currently on leave from her academic post as Reader in Economics of Education at UCL Institute of Education.

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