Agenda item

An analysis of Examination results 2018

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities



SACRE received a statistical analysis of the standards achieved in GCSE and GCE Advanced (A) Level Religious Studies (RS) by pupils examined in the summer of 2018.  In accordance with the SACRE remit, the analysis of GCSE and A level results only took account of local authority maintained schools.  Members were informed that there had been changes to the GCSE regulations regarding assessment with the majority of pupils who undertook their GCSE studies being assessed on a scale of 1-9 not A* to C or A* to G grades.  This had implications for the analysis as comparisons to previous years could not be based on like for like. One school (Codsall High School) had been measured on the previous A* to G grades as the pupils had been entered for examination in Year 10, but the results are reported when they are in year 11.


Overall, GCSE results for 2018 found that the national results of state funded schools in 2018 for Grade 9-5 are at 59.7% (71.2% in 2017 A*-C) compared to Staffordshire’s 53.5% (68.7% in 2017 A*-C).  The national results of state funded schools in 2018 for Grade 9-4 are at 71% (71.2% in 2017 A*-C) compared to Staffordshire’s 2018 Grade 9-4 are at 66.7% (68.7% in 2017 A*-C).


Staffordshire state funded school results were therefore 6.2% lower than the National when comparing grades 9-5.  Staffordshire state funded school results were 4.3% lower than the National when comparing grades 9-4.  It was difficult to make a direct comparison to 2017 results.


Results for grades 9-1 Nationally were 98.3% and Staffordshire were 98.4% which was an improvement on the 2017 result of 77.1%. 


A close examination of the results table revealed that there were several schools achieving results well above the national average.  Of the 13 schools who entered students in for GCSE and comparing to the National results 2018 Grade 9-5 at 59.7%, six schools were above the National, one broadly in line and six below.


Overall, there had been a dip in standards this year which could be attributed to the new grading and the raising of the challenge within the GCSE syllabus.


In respect of A Level results, Staffordshire’s 2018 results (43.5%) were lower than national but an improvement on the 2017 results of 36.6%.  Results for all pupils show that although pupils in Staffordshire achieved below the national average at grades A*-B, they performed very well across the full spectrum of grades A*-E. 


SACRE noted that two additional schools offered their pupils the opportunity to study for an A level qualification in Religious Studies in 2018 compared to 2017: Great Wyrley and Netherstowe High.


SACRE requested that letters of congratulation be sent to those schools whose pupils had achieved commendably above the national average results for those achieving A*-C in GCSE RE.  They also agreed that letters should also be sent to those high achieving schools at A level.


A question was asked regarding the support offered to schools who do not appear to perform well.  It was felt that these schools could be targeted with information on the RE network meetings which would offer support.  Again, SACRE was reminded that the priority was maintained schools and not academies.  A question was asked whether an academy could opt to change back to a maintained school.  SACRE were advised that this was almost impossible to do, only one instance nationally being known. 



a)    The report be received; and

b)    Letters of congratulations be sent to the schools whose pupils achieved results above the national average in GCSE and A Level Religious Studies.



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