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