GCSEs

Results re­leased last week showed Peter­bor­ough’s pupils are do­ing well at English, but less so at maths.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Joel Lamy Joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

‘It is not pos­si­ble to com­pare this set of results with last year’s’

Cllr Lynne Ayres

Peter­bor­ough’s pupils have shone at GCSE English but strug­gled with maths, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures pub­lished by the city council.

Un­der a new sys­tem of ex­am­i­na­tions which saw the two main sub­jects graded un­der a dif­fer­ent sys­tem to all oth­ers, 70.1 per cent of pupils passed English com­pared to 64.9 per cent in Eng­land.

How­ever, in maths, 62 per cent of pupils achieved a pass while na­tion­ally the re­sult was 68.9 per cent, although the council said the num­ber of peo­ple do­ing well in maths had in­creased.

The pro­por­tion of pupils achiev­ing a pass in both sub­jects in Peter­bor­ough was 55.7 per cent. The council said it was still await­ing na­tional data for this mea­sure.

Cllr Lynne Ayres, cabi­net mem­ber for ed­u­ca­tion, said: “As there is a new grad­ing sys­tem a change to the ex­am­i­na­tion sys­tem and much harder ex­ams it is not pos­si­ble to com­pare this set of results with last year’s. But, it is en­cour­ag­ing that ap­prox­i­mately sim­i­lar pro­por­tions of stu­dents have achieved a pass to those last year in the key sub­jects of maths and English, with a slight in­crease in the num­bers do­ing well in maths.

“GCSEs are an im­por­tant part of a young per­son’s ed­u­ca­tion and I’d like to wish all stu­dents the very best for the fu­ture as they look ahead and make de­ci­sions about their next steps.”

Al­most 2,200 pupils sat the ex­ams this year.

Changes made to the sys­tem were in­tended to make GCSEs more rig­or­ous and vir­tu­ally ev­ery press re­lease re­ceived by the Peter­bor­ough Tele­graph from schools in the city and just out­side, stated that it was much harder for pupils this year. Un­der the new sys­tem ex­ams in English and maths were graded from 9 to one, with nine be­ing the top score. The grades nine, eight and seven cor­re­lated with A*s and A un­der the old sys­tem, while a 6 would have been a B.

While a C would pre­vi­ously have been seen as a ‘good’ pass, a grade 4 was now a ‘stan­dard pass’ while a grade 5 was re­ferred to as a ‘strong pass’.

To make mat­ters even more con­fus­ing other sub­jects were still graded A* to C, mean­ing pupils could have results from two or three dif­fer­ent mark­ing sys­tems.

Hav­ing strug­gled in pre­vi­ous years, Voy­ager Academy - which is set to re-open as Queen Katharine Academy in Septem­ber - said it was “cel­e­brat­ing sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved results” with 34 per cent of pupils pass­ing both English and maths, an im­prove­ment of 12 per­cent­age points from last year.

Last year was the first time schools were not judged on the pro­por­tion of pupils scor­ing at least five C grades at GCSE, in­clud­ing in English and maths.

In­stead, min­is­ters in­tro­duced a new head­line mea­sure called “Progress 8” which looked at the progress a pupil makes from the end of pri­mary school to the end of sec­ondary school.

Pupils cel­e­brate their results at Thomas Dea­con Academy.

Amie Gar­ner, Lara Cal­low and Me­gan Singh at The Voy­ager

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