Where does your school rank in revised 2017 GCSE results and Progress 8 in Suffolk?

Students at Ixworth Free School celebrate their 2017 GCSE results. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER/SECKFORD

Students at Ixworth Free School celebrate their 2017 GCSE results. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER/SECKFORD FOUNDATION FREE SCHOOLS TRUST - Credit: Archant

We have put together a Suffolk school league table based on revised Progress 8 and GCSE results for 2017 published by the government today. See how your school performed and where it ranks in Suffolk.

Today’s revised government data shows 63.1% of GCSE students in Suffolk achieved at least a grade 4 (the old C grade) in English and maths in 2017, ranking Suffolk joint 83rd in a league table of 151 local authorities.

The national state-funded average was 63.9%. It means the gap between Suffolk and England, which once stood at 8.9 percentage points in 2012, which prompted Suffolk County Council to launch its flagship Raising the Bar scheme to address major concerns over poor results, has now narrowed to 0.8 points. This is the lowest gap since 2012, when Suffolk was ranked 142nd in the league table.

Education experts insist the 2017 results cannot be compared with previous years due to overhauls in exams, curriculum, and grading scales.

The Year 11 students who sat the exams last summer were guinea pigs for the biggest GCSE shake-up in a generation. The reforms of former education secretary Michael Gove reflect a tougher, more traditional curriculum, designed to stretch pupils to the limits of their ability.

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The new English and maths courses have more content and are tougher generally. In maths, there is more content on topics such as number, ration and proportion, and pupils have to show clear mathematical arguments for their calculations and remember key formulae.

In English language, pupils now have to read a wider range of texts from different genres and time periods, and more importance is given to spelling, punctuation and grammar.

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In English literature, students have to read a wide range of classic literature, including 19th century novels, Shakespeare and the Romantic poets.

The 2017 results also included the first phase of the 0-9 numerical grading system, which are gradually replacing A* to G grades. Nine is the best mark, seven is equivalent to an A, and four is the pass mark. Five is a ‘high C’. English and maths were the first and only subjects to move over in 2017.

Fewer children are expected to attain the highest mark of nine and under half are expected to achieve the grade four pass mark. The proportion of students gaining a grade four in English and maths is the new benchmark, replacing the five GCSEs measure.

Meanwhile, the Progress 8 figure, first introduced in 2016 and viewed on par with the GCSE English and maths measurement, was also revised in the new Department for Education data.

Progress 8 measures how well pupils progress between the end of primary and the end of secondary school. The score for each pupil is based on whether their scores are higher or lower than those achieved by pupils who had similar attainment at the end of primary school.

The old system was criticised for encouraging schools to focus on pupils on the C/D borderline.

Last summer, headteachers repeated calls for stability in education amid praise for pupils and teachers who “performed miracles”.

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