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Changes to how Bailiwick measures GCSE performance begin to take effect

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Monday 24 February 2020

Changes to the way the Bailiwick measures the performance of schools and students at key stage 4 (GCSE years) have begun to take effect.

The new performance measures will be similar, but not identical, to those now used in England. The new headline measure, known as Attainment 8, is calculated using the grades achieved by each student in a range of eight subject choices, which are then averaged across all students to give the average scores.

The Bailiwick previously focused on recording the percentage of pupils who achieved five C grades or better, including in English and Maths. This measure is no longer used in England.

Additionally, new 9-1 GCSE qualifications have been introduced in England and for a number of subjects in schools in the Bailiwick. The new 9-1 GCSEs are broader and more rigorous, providing the best possible preparation for post-16 education. The new grading system has led to a shift from a grade C to the equivalent of a high C or low B as the standard benchmark for many sixth forms, further education colleges and employers. The Bailiwick cannot afford to set lower standards for its students than their English counterparts.

The new Attainment 8 performance measures bring several benefits.

Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:

'The Committee committed to phasing in these reporting changes over several years. This is partly due to a number of curriculum differences between Guernsey and England. During this period, the Education Office will immediately start using the best possible approximations for Bailiwick Attainment 8 scores while continuing to publish the five A*- C including maths and English measure to allow benchmarking against previous years until the new measures are fully implemented.'

Attainment 8 measures pupils' attainment across eight qualifications including English, Maths, three qualifications that count in the English Baccalaureate and three further qualifications.

Attainment 8

The average adjusted Bailiwick Attainment 8 score across States' schools in Guernsey and Alderney (excluding Le Murier) in 2019 was 39.2. This equates to an average grade of 3.92 in each of the subjects counting towards the measure - the equivalent of a high D grade (4 is the equivalent of a C grade).

The Attainment 8 figure for England in 2019 was 46.7. On average, students achieved a score of 4.67 in each of the qualifications counting towards the measure. This means that students in States schools (La Mare de Carteret, Les Beaucamps, Grammar, St Sampson's and St Anne's) scored on average 0.75 of a grade lower per pupil per subject than students in English state schools across the suite of qualifications counting towards Attainment 8.

While the Guernsey data includes only those 70% of students in States' schools, it should be noted that English data includes approximately 93% of students in England. The three grant-aided Colleges, which have about 30% of total Bailiwick Key Stage 4 students, also provided data, which gives a more realistic picture of performance within the islands. When all Bailiwick students are included the average adjusted Bailiwick Attainment 8 Score (excluding students at Le Murier) was 46.4; or 4.64 per pupil per subject counting towards the measure. This is the equivalent of a mid C grade and means that, to the extent comparisons are possible, the total Bailiwick average is similar to the English average.

Deputy Fallaize said:

'There are a number of reasons Bailiwick and English data is not currently directly comparable, such as Guernsey including qualifications which no longer count towards English performance measures. However these issues will diminish over time as further alignment takes place.'

For further information on the new English accountability system, please read the Secondary Accountability Measures guide which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/progress-8-school-performance-measure.

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