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Anyone who can help me interpret results?

(10 Posts)
niceguy2 Thu 25-Aug-11 13:49:20

My DD's school has just posted their GCSE results on their website.

At first glance it looks fantastic:

85% A*-C GCSE (All Subjects)
57% A*-C Maths & English

But looking at the DfE website, I note this is a massive jump from the previous year where all subjets was 51% and Maths & English was 51% also.

So would the results posted today be the same measure as what the DfE use? Ie. will next years figures show a huge improvement?

If I asked the school, would they be able to tell me what the underlying figures are excluding all "GCSE equivalent" courses?

mnistooaddictive Thu 25-Aug-11 13:54:25

It is unlikely they will tell you because as far as hey are concerned it IS 85%.
There may be lots of reasons for the improvement but it looks massive, so some equivalent courses may have been done!

niceguy2 Thu 25-Aug-11 14:57:22

Hmmm, that's my fear. I hope not but I do hear a lot of schools are focussing on the "equivalent" courses because they are easier to bump up their stats.

A jump of over 30% would be amazing but as often with statistics, I've learned you need to look under the covers rather than just take the headline figure.

beckybrastraps Thu 25-Aug-11 15:06:22

Yes they would. We would anyway.

The figure that suggests real improvement is the "inc Maths and English". Well done them!

TalkinPeace2 Thu 25-Aug-11 16:54:31

Have a look at the results on here ....
you can check the schools near you that have posted results
www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/jan/12/school-tables-mapped

kritur Thu 25-Aug-11 21:49:51

So they have made a 6% increase in the 5A*-C inc En and Ma, which is the only measure that really counts these days. That sounds fine to me, my school had a 5% increase in the same measure. They have probably focused heavily on the C/D borderlines in English and maths to push those results up.
85% overall with 57% in En and Ma implies the use of some equivalent courses, quite possibly OCR nationals in IT and perhaps for the lower groups in science. The GCSE subject grades will probably be posted on their website soon and that will give you more of an idea which were taken as GCSEs and which as equivalents.

Kez100 Thu 25-Aug-11 22:35:41

Our school had a jump to 54 this year from 43 last year in 5 x a-c inc e and m. Strategies were in place as 50+ was expected last year but some children just fell at the last (so to speak). This year they made sure it didn't happen again!

cheapskatemum Thu 25-Aug-11 22:48:28

My son did Btecs in Sports Leadership & Engineering, equivalent to 2 GCSE passes each. It was a lot of coursework, which suits him. What made me cross was that the teachers of these subjects made no effort whatsoever to encourage their students to achieve higher than a pass (equivalent to 2 Cs). In other words the whole exercise was purely to keep up the school's high A*-C %. On the plus side, concentrating on their C/D borderliners in Maths & English helped DS3 get a C in both.

niceguy2 Thu 25-Aug-11 22:49:33

I thought so. I'm a big believer in if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

I think i really annoyed the headmaster (seems I do it naturally) when he explained that xxx qualification was worth 4 GCSE's and I asked which four? So if a child gets a qualification in construction which is worth 4 GCSE's which four is it? Maths? English? I'm told it doesn't work that way but I don't see how you can compare apples to oranges.

Our new head seems relentlessy focussing on results which to an extent I do support but I don't want to see better results based purely on smoke & mirrors rather than better teaching and pushing students harder.

StealthPolarBear Thu 25-Aug-11 22:55:36

"But looking at the DfE website, I note this is a massive jump from the previous year where all subjets was 51% and Maths & English was 51% also."

Do you mean 51% A-C inc E&M AND 51% A-C in general? Unless it's a very small school that's unlikely. I think it's most lilely a typo.

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