ManyEast Riding schools are celebrating their best ever GCSE results, amidst further changes in the grading system and tougher examinations for many subjects.
New number grades replace letters in most subjects this year, following the change for English and Maths in 2017. A grade 4 is equivalent to a grade C and classed as a ‘standard pass’. A grade 5 is classed as a ‘strong pass’.
A declining number of subjects continue to be graded using the previous A* to G scale, and by 2020 all GCSEs will use numbers 1-9 as the system continues to be rolled in over the next two years. Reformed GCSEs have been deliberately made more difficult, as well as being mostly graded on examinations and not on coursework.
In the East Riding, schools have improved the proportion of students achieving a standard pass or grade 4 or better in English and maths to 70 per cent. The proportion gaining grade 5 (a strong pass) in 2018 is 48 per cent.
Since last year, several new indicators have been used by Ofsted to measure the performance of schools.
The measures are:-
· Attainment 8 - the average grade in eight subjects
· Progress 8 – the average progress made by all pupils from KS2 to KS4
· percentages achieving grade 4 and grade 5 in both English and maths
· percentages achieving grade 4 and grade 5 in English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects, English, maths, science, humanities and a language.
Attainment of pupils in East Riding secondary schools is generally well above national. In 2017 East Riding Schools achieved an overall Attainment 8 score of 47.4 (compared to a national average of 44.6). Provisional results indicate the 2018 figure has risen to 49.4, showing an overall improvement in the outcomes achieved by young people throughout the authority. An Attainment 8 score of 50 is broadly equivalent to a low B in the previous grading system.
Progress 8 score is the main measure used to rank schools, but this year’s figures will not be available from the Department for Education until October 2018.
East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor Julie Abraham, portfolio holder for children, young people and education, said: “We are delighted with the outcomes achieved by many East Riding schools this year, which once again show a year on year improvement. These results reflect the commitment of the Council and elected members to improving outcomes with the continued funding of school improvement and packages of support for individual schools.Together with our best ever A-level results last week, they show that young people in our schools are achieving the success they deserve and going onto employment, education and training of their choice.
“These results have been achieved despite the very low level of funding for East Riding schools from the Department for Education compared to other regions of the county. This is down to the hard work of young people and their families supported by dedicated school staff, and is a tribute to the way schools and young people have responded to the challenges of the reformed GCSE examinations. ”
Jamie O’Brien, the council’s principal improvement adviser, said: “These results are a testament to the hard work of our young people, as well as the dedication and commitment of teachers and support staff in all our schools. We are proud of the accomplishments of young people throughout the East Riding - achieved with the support of their carers and families. We greatly appreciate the hard work of head teachers, teaching and support staff that have contributed to these impressive results.”
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