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Long read: How do east London’s GCSE results compare?

PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 October 2017

Little Ilford pupils with their results

Little Ilford pupils with their results

Vickie Flores/Archant

The new-style GCSE exams may have proved a challenge to both teachers and pupils alike, but that hasn’t stopped east London’s teenagers from performing well.

Plashet School pupils collect their results Plashet School pupils collect their results

Provisional figures released by the Department for Education show that last year’s cohort generally exceeded the national average.

Across the country, 63.5 per cent of pupils achieved a grade 4 or above - deemed a standard pass - in both English and maths, and 42.4 a grade 5 or above - a good pass. The English component can be taken from either the language or literature exam, if the pupil did not make the grade in both.

Barking and Dagenham had the lowest number of Year 11 pupils of the five east London boroughs, with 2,187.

Of those, 62.9 per cent achieved a standard pass and 42.5pc a good pass.

In neighbouring Havering, 67.3pc of the 2,811 pupils achieved standard passes and 45.7pc good passes, while in Newham 64.6pc of 3,552 pupils gained standard passes and 45.1pc good passes.

In Tower Hamlets, 2,623 pupils produced figures of 64.7pc standard passes and 44pc good passes.

Redbridge had the highest percentage of standard passes in east London - and the sixth highest in London - with 73.8pc, while 55.5pc of the 3,461 pupils achieved good passes in English and maths - the fourth highest of the capital’s boroughs.

The London average was for 67.3pc of pupils to achieve a standard pass and 47.7pc a good pass.

Also included in the provisional figures were the attainment 8 and progress 8 measures.

The former assesses the average achievement of pupils in up to eight qualifications - English and maths, plus three qualifications that count in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) and any three other subjects. The EBacc subjects include science, foreign languages, history and geography.

The progress 8 measurement takes a pupil’s attainment 8 score and compares it with the average score of all pupils who were at a similar level at the end of primary school. A score of 0 means the pupil is doing the same as the average, with a positive score indicating they are doing better than their peers and a negative score that they are doing worse.

Across London, the average attainment 8 score decreased from last year, falling from 51.3 to 47.8. The maximum possible score is 87.

This was reflected in all five of the east London boroughs.

Newham’s score fell from 50.9 to 48, while Tower Hamlets fell from 50.2 to 47.

Barking and Dagenham dropped from 49.7 to 46.2, Havering from 50 to 47.1 and Redbridge from 53.9 to 51.

But the Department for Education has said that this was to be expected as the new-style GCSEs, with a numerical grading system, means a different point score scale has been used.

It added that shadow data, where GCSE results from 2016 are mapped onto the 2017 point score scale to provide a more accurate comparison, indicates stability between the two years.

In the progress 8 table, Redbridge’s score of 0.43 was the joint fourth best in London, alongside Kingston upon Thames, Ealing and Kensington and Chelsea.

Newham was close behind with a score of 0.41, while Barking and Dagenham and Tower Hamlets achieved positive ratings of 0.21 and 0.26 respectively.

Havering was the only east London borough with a negative progress 8 score, coming in at -0.04 - one of only five in London to be below 0.

A Newham Council spokesperson said: “Newham’s Year 11 pupils have performed above the national average in the new English literature, English language and mathematics GCSE qualifications despite changes to the examinations.

“Our pupils continue to beat the national average for attainment 8 and the English Baccalaureate, with the borough’s Progress 8 scores being the 10th highest in England.

“These results are a testament to our schools, teaching staff and our pupils.”

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