Independent schools top GCSE tables

Following last week’s superb A-level results, private schools have increased their lead over the state sector 

results, gsces,

Five of the top performing schools at GCSE are from the independent sector. The Royal Grammar School Guildford has topped the league, achieving 82.14 per cent A grades, closely followed by Magdalen College School, Oxfordshire, which narrowly missed topping both the GCSE and A-level results table for 2009.

King’s College School, Merton, came third, with Guildford High School in fourth position followed by the top-performing state school, Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet. 

Again, a record number of pupils were awarded top grades, with 21.6 per cent scoring an A or A* and more than two thirds achieving at least a C grade.

For the first time in more than a decade, results showed boys outperforming girls in mathematics, which teachers and examiners put down to the removal of coursework from GCSE maths. It’s generally recognised that girls outperform boys at coursework.

Dr John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) comments: "Boys have overtaken girls at GCSE maths, coursework having been abolished two years ago. It clearly shows how the type of assessment directly affects achievement.

The removal of coursework from a number of subjects next year could see boys catching up with girls across the board.


Grade inflation

As pupils celebrate a raft of A grades and scores increase year on year, the debate over grade inflation continues. A number of leading schools are migrating to tougher exams, such as the International GCSE, or the International Baccalaureate, middle years programme. One solution might be to do as other countries do and publish two different measures. Alongside their grade – at GCSE or A-level – pupils would receive a percentile, which indicates what proportion of pupils did better or worse than them.

There are clear advantages here not only for universities and employers, and the percentile will make the system fairer by showing which students had just missed a grade, or scraped in above the grade boundary.


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