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Question for Department for Education

UIN 57355, tabled on 13 December 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average GCSE score is of students currently enrolled at (a) sixth form colleges and (b) school and academy sixth forms in England.

Answered on

19 December 2016

The requested information for pupils at the end of Key Stage 5 in the academic year 2014/15 is given in the following table:

Average GCSE Attainment[1],[2] of pupils at the end of key stage 5 in 2015 by school type

School type

Number of eligible pupils[3]

Average capped[4] GCSE and equivalents point score per pupil

Percentage of students achieving 5A*-C in English and mathematics GCSEs including equivalents

Sixth form colleges




All state-funded schools[5]




Source 16-18 attainment data

[1]In 2013/14, two major reforms were implemented which affect the calculation of key stage 4 performance measures data: 1) Professor Alison Wolf’s Review of Vocational Education recommendations which: restrict the qualifications counted; prevent any qualification from counting as larger than one GCSE; and cap the number of non-GCSEs included in performance measures at two per pupil, and 2) an early entry policy to only count a pupil’s first attempt at a qualification, in subjects counted in the English Baccalaureate. Consequently, the numbers supplied prior to 2013/14 are not comparable with those from 2013/14 onwards.

[2] In 2014/15, early entry policy, under which only a pupil’s first attempt at a qualification is counted in performance measures, was extended to all subjects.

[3] Covers students at the end of advanced level study who were entered for at least one substantial advanced level academic or vocational qualification in the 2014/15 academic year: substantial advanced level academic or vocational qualifications are defined as qualifications that are at least the size of an A level (180 guided learning hours per year), such as a BTEC subsidiary diploma level 3. If a vocational or academic qualification is similar in size to 2 A levels it will be counted as 2 substantial level 3 qualifications. In order to be included in this table, pupils also needed a valid end of key stage 4 record, therefore the number of eligible pupils is lower than that published in the key stage 5 SFR.

[4] Average capped point scores are calculated using the best 8 GCSE or equivalent results.

[5] Includes school and academy sixth-forms