GCSE Results by Subject(17 Posts)
Hi, just a question for any heads/deputies out there. I have asked my DD's school for a breakdown of their GCSE results per subject rather than the normal % A-C etc. They have refused saying they comply with government regulations in terms of how they publish their results and feel that this should be adequate. Surely this cannot be the case? All the independent & grammar schools locally all publish their results by subject - this makes comparison night on impossible. Can anyone offer any reasons for this?
I guess there might be issues with being able to identify individual pupils for subjects with few entries?
Also, I don't think you would ever know you were comparing like with like. Some schools will only let kids expected to get a C or above enter. Other schools are more accommodating.
The information that would be useful would be to be able to compare difference between a pupil's average grade, and that for any subject. e.g. If an otherwise straight A pupil gets a C for subject X and this is consistent for all pupils doing X you might want to avoid that subject.
However knowing that 90% entries get B or above for German but only 40% get B or above for PE, might tell you more about the average pupil who chooses those two subjects, rather than what your DC might actually get.
We live in a comprehensive area and the local schools publish this information by grade for each subject, so it's not confined to a particular type of school.
It sounds as though the head teacher you spoke to was quite defensive, I would question why.
Can anyone offer any reasons for this?
Load of hassle when they have other things to do?
My dds comp does publish this info, but you have to search for it as it's an Appendix. It's quite a large school so perhaps that avoids identifying pupils.
TBH it depends on why you want to know and what information you think it will give you.
Some GCSE subjects e.g. Triple Science may appear to have better results but that could be because these ones are taken by higher ability pupils on the other hand some subjects that have lower results may be taken by lower ability pupils.
However I am not sure whether they will show how your child will do in future years especially as GCSEs are being reformed (Maths and English this year and then other subjects). Some good results may be linked to a particular teacher and they may leave the school etc.
Assuming it's a state school you may be able to get the information by making a request to the school under the Freedom of Information Act. Link to relevant section of Information Commissioner's website here ico.org.uk/for-the-public/official-information/
My DC's independent sch also gave selective statistics for GCSE results. The reason has to be because in certain subjects the results were not impressive - for example, in computer science no one got higher than a B. This suggests poor teaching and inadequate exam prep. The sch does not want parents making comparisons and asking awkward questions!
could just leap to those conclusions. In which case why waste the school's time demanding they compile stats especially for you. The school is entirely crap & that's that. Move on.
Because getting data like that is not just as simple as pressing a button and out it pops. It might take someone several hours when they are already up to their eyeballs and at breaking point trying to sort out data for this current year. Admin staff are being cut left, right and centre so that schools can maintain their buildings and keep teachers. They just don't have the capacity to be doing extra work for parents.
Surely schools have this information already? If I were a Teacher I would want a breakdown of how students did in my subject, and yes, if no-one got higher than a B, I would want to know why (there might be a perfectly good answer but the question should be asked)
The information is available, the schools already have it, and if they refuse to provide it to you you can ask your local MP to intervene. There is precedent for this, and also for FOI applications to force schools to provide it. If the school you are talking about is a highly regarded comp in South London it has been forced to comply in previous years under both of these methods, and was reluctant for what turned out to be the obvious reasons.
Sorry, I wasn't saying they don't have the data, of course they do. But unless they have produced exactly that report before with no extra data on it/no data excluded, it could take some time to pull it all together and edit it and present it in to a parent friendly document. Of course teachers have the data but they will have it with student names, target grades, median grades, predicted grades, teaching groups, candidate numbers all over it. Just the top line numbers that OP wants aren't really that useful to a school. It would have to be cleansed of any identifying information. Its not as simple as going to a filing cabinet and pulling out a sheet. Not to say you shouldn't be able to get the information but just be aware that it may take time and, for reasons given by pp, not be as useful as you are hoping.
You are right xyzand, a full report will take some time to prepare. Though if you are asking (for example) how many GCSE English grades were actually above a C, I'd have though it was pretty easy. I'd have been satisfied with a quick...."oh hang on, it was 0 out of 142" over the phone.....
I would bet my last £ it is reported to the Governing Body. If it is, you are able to see it because reports and supporting papers are not confidential unless deemed to be so. It is highly unlikely exam results in each subject are confidential or not reported to Governors. That is why schools have to produce them if asked.
It is interesting to see where the higher grades are if you are making choices for GCSEs, for example. I know of schools where Drama results are poor but others have nearly all A*s. This type of information may well affect choices of subjects! It is also information a school should be acting upon and it is not confidential. Ask to see the Governing Body agendas for last year and all supporting papers on attainment. You may have to pay for them, but they must be produced for you. They are kept electronically so they could just send the relevant pages to you.
I don't think national statistics have any bearing on the results for this school. Some schools Buck trends. Some schools have outstanding teaching in English. Some schools have poor science teachers. If you are choosing GCSEs at a school, the performance in each subject is relevant as is the quality of the students in each subject. Schools do have this info readily to hand. They could produce it if they wanted to.
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