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KS4 – Provisional GCSE and Equivalent Results in England, 2016 to 2017

The 2017 headline accountability measures for secondary schools based on the GCSE and equivalent results are:

  • Attainment 8,
  • Progress 8,
  • attainment in English and mathematics at grades 5 or above,
  • English Baccalaureate (EBacc) entry,
  • EBacc achievement (including a grade 5 or above in English and mathematics), and
  • destinations of pupils after key stage 4.

The provisional release of national data can be found here.


SFR 57 looks primarily at the 2017 headline measures, with comparisons made to 2016 results wherever possible. In addition to the headline measures for transparency reasons the DfE have also published attainment at grades 4 or above in the threshold measures.


In 2017, pupils sat reformed GCSEs in English language, English literature and mathematics for the first time, graded on a 9-1 scale. New GCSEs in other subjects are being phased in for first teaching over 3 years: from September 2016, 2017 and the remaining few from 2018. Adjustments have been made to the APS (Average Points Scores) allocated to old GCSE grades and therefore year to year comparison is difficult.


In comparison to 2016, the average Attainment 8 score per pupil has decreased by 4 points for all schools to 44.2 and by 3.8 points for state-funded schools to 46.0 in 2017. The published shadow data, where 2016 results were mapped onto the 2017 point score scale, produced an average Attainment 8 score of 43.6 for all schools and 44.6 for state-funded schools – the 2017 score is stable in comparison to this shadow data.

The proportion of pupils entering the EBacc has decreased by 1.5 percentage points since 2016. In 2017, 38.1% of pupils in state-funded schools entered the EBacc and 21.1% achieved the EBacc by gaining grades 5 or above in English and maths GCSEs and grades C or above in unreformed qualifications that count towards the remaining EBacc subject areas.


However, 23.5% of pupils achieved the EBacc by gaining grades 4 or above in English and maths GCSEs and grades C or above in unreformed subject areas. This figure is most comparable to 2016 data, because the bottom of a grade 4 in reformed GCSEs maps onto the bottom of a grade C in unreformed GCSEs. Comparison of the grade 4 or above figure to the 2016 provisional data shows a decrease in EBacc achievement of 1 percentage point.

The proportion of pupils achieving the headline measure of grades 5 or above in English and maths is 39.1% for all schools and 42.2% for state-funded schools. In 2017, 58.5% of pupils in all schools and 63.3% of pupils in state-funded schools achieved grade 4 or above in English and maths. This figure is comparable to 2016 data and shows an increase of 0.7 percentage points across state-funded schools.

A full analysis of the national KS4 data is available in SFR 57/2017 here.

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