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Examination results in England: Social Indicators page

Published Monday, November 27, 2017

Trends in examination results in England at Key Stage 2, GCSE and A level. Includes 2014 results.

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The percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above at Key Stage 2 (KS2) rose sharply between 1997 and 2000.  In 2015, 89% of pupils attained this level in reading, 87% in maths and 80% in reading, writing and maths.

Pupils taking KS2 tests in 2016 were the first to follow the new national curriculum. 53% reached new (higher) standards in reading, writing nand maths, increasing to 61% in the second year of the new tests.

Even using the earlier methodology there was a fall in pupils passing at least five GCSEs/equivalents at A*-C including English and Maths. This may in part reflect other changes to GCSEs introduced in 2013/14.


 A new GCSE headline measure 'Attainment 8' was introduced in 2016. It measures average achievement in up to 8 qualifications. The average score per pupil was 44.2 points in 2017, down from 48.2 in 2016.

The percentage of 16-18 year old candidates with three or more A-level passes rose almost twenty points between 1997/98 and 2004/05.

More than one-quarter of independent school pupils and one-quarter of selective school pupils gained three or more As at A-Level in 2015/16.  At comprehensive schools one in thirteen pupils achieved this – up from one in twenty in 1997/98. 


Commons Briefing papers SN02627

Author: Lydia Jackson

Topics: Further education, Schools

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