Department for Education Statement of Intent
2015 Secondary school performance tables

Main changes

* Since September 2013, general further education colleges / sixth-form colleges have been able to enrol 14 – 16 year olds who wish to study high-quality vocational qualifications alongside general qualifications including English and maths within the KS4 curriculum

Provisional results to be published (for state funded secondary schools only)

  • Percentage of pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and maths
  • Percentage of pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate
  • Attainment 8 scores, for those schools that have opted into the new accountability system one year early
  • Provisional results to be published in October on the performance tables’ website in addition to the full secondary performance tables in January 2016
  • Based on results data Awarding Organisations supply to the DfE in August 2015; hence small changes in schools’ results may occur between the  two publication dates as a result of successful appeals, late certifications, approved amendments etc.  

Qualifications to be included

Other changes

  • Cohort information on pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) will change to reflect SEN policy reforms to include pupils with Education, Health and Care plans (EHCs) and SEN support
  • Definition of disadvantaged pupils will change to reflect the 2014-2015 conditions of funding for the pupil premium; eligible for free school meals in last 6 years, looked after continuously for one day or more (reduced from at least 6 months in 2013/14) or adopted from care
  • Contextual indicator will be added to show where the prior attainment of more than 50% of a school’s cohort is based upon key stage 2 teacher assessment as a result of the 2010 boycott of key stage 2 tests

Future developments

Major reforms to secondary school accountability will start to come into effect in 2016 performance tables (published in early 2017) based on Progress 8 and Attainment 8 measures.

Coasting school

  • From 2016, ‘coasting’ schools that are failing to push every pupil to reach their potential will be identified.
  • ‘Coasting’ definition will capture school performance over 3 years.
  • In 2016 this will consider performance in 2014, 2015 and 2016; because of the change in accountability in 2016, the coasting levels for 2014 and 2015 will reflect current accountability measures. From 2016 onwards it will reflect the new accountability regime.
  • For secondary schools in 2016, a school will be coasting if:
  1. In 2014 and 2015 fewer than 60% of children achieve 5+ A*-C GCSEs including English and maths, and they are below the median level of expected progress; and
  2. In 2016 they fall below a level set against the new Progress 8 measure; to be set after the 2016 results are available to ensure it is at a suitable level.
  • By 2018, the definition of coasting will be based entirely on 3 years of Progress 8 data; there will be no attainment element.

GCSE reform

  • New GCSEs in English and maths will be taught from 2015; first examinations in 2017, after new performance measures are introduced.
  • New GCSEs in other subjects will be phased in for teaching from 2016 and 2017.
  • Only new GCSEs will be included in performance tables as they are introduced to ensure all students benefit from the reformed qualifications.
  • A new grading system is also being introduced from 2017 to replace the A to U system with a new 9 to 1 scale.
  • Under the new system, a ‘good pass’ - currently a C grade - will become a grade 5; comparable to a high C or low B under current system.

English Baccalaureate

The DfE to consult this autumn on pupils starting secondary school this September 2015 (Year 7) to study all the English Baccalaureate subjects of English, maths, science, history or geography, and a language when they reach their GCSEs, with pupils taking exams in these subjects in 2020.