Where does your Essex school rank in revised 2017 GCSE results?
PUBLISHED: 17:32 25 January 2018
A greater proportion of Essex teenagers achieved the expected standards in last year's toughened-up GCSE exams than across England, revised government data has confirmed.
Just under two-thirds (65.3%) of 14,378 students achieved a grade 4 or better in English and maths last summer – the new benchmark for GCSE performance.
The revised mark, which includes exam remarks, was above the England state-funded school average of 63.9%. It placed Essex joint 59th in a local authority league table.
Education experts insist the 2017 results cannot be compared with previous years due to overhauls in exams, curriculum, and grading scales. The reforms of former education secretary Michael Gove reflect a tougher, more traditional curriculum, designed to stretch pupils to the limits of their ability. The results also included the first phase of the 0-9 numerical grading system, which are gradually replacing A* to G grades. Nine is the best mark, seven is equivalent to an A, and four is the new pass mark.
Ray Gooding, cabinet member for education at Essex County Council, said: “Secondary schools in Essex are continuing to perform exceptionally well, with about 97.5% rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted, compared with a national average of 80.3%.
“I am very pleased that their hard work is also reflected in the revised GCSE data, which confirms our pupils are achieving higher grades than many of their peers elsewhere in the country.”
Essex scored an ‘average’ mark of -0.04 for Progress 8, which measures pupils’ progression between the end of primary and the end of secondary school. The England score was -0.03.
Nicole Chapman, headteacher at Chelmsford County High School for Girls, said: “New examinations assessment criteria and grading always present a challenge, initially for teachers to interpret the requirements and then for students to rise to the expectations and standards. Teachers have worked most effectively to manage the changes and our students have risen to the challenges.”
Honywood Community Science School in Coggeshall was one of four Essex schools below the government’s floor standards, with a Progress 8 score of -0.62. But 62% passed English and maths. Head Simon Mason said they were penalised for allowing pupils to sit exams early, as new attempts are excluded in the data.