The Perse School

DfE schools performance data obscures record-breaking Perse results

29 Jan 2015

Today the DfE published its annual schools performance data. As in previous years, the performance data listed for The Perse do not accurately reflect pupil achievement. In 2014, Perse students surpassed the results of last year’s record-breakers to achieve the School’s best ever GCSE and IGCSE results and, for the fifth year in succession, more than three quarters of Perse A level entries were graded at either A* or A.

Head Ed Elliott explains:

“These tables are of little use in assessing academically selective independent schools.  For these, it makes more sense to concentrate on how many pupils achieve high grades. For example, The Perse is the top co-ed school in the country according to the Times 2014 GCSE results table (select ‘GCSE 2014’ from options)- which is based on A* and A grades. But that level of performance is obscured by this DfE data.

The Government’s aim is to ensure that all children at schools where pupils have widely differing abilities achieve at least a basic level of education (usually defined as 5 GCSEs A* – C). The data here allow the Government to identify and address under-performing schools. That’s a worthwhile and valid purpose.

But the DfE table does not help parents distinguish between schools where most pupils achieve A* or A grades. It does not fully recognise the rigorous qualifications followed by schools such as The Perse, for example the Pre-U where the top grade is above A* at A level, or the demanding international exams such as IGCSE and IA level, and it leaves out some academically challenging subjects such as economics.

We select qualifications on the basis of educational merit – those that deliver the best education for our pupils – regardless of the implication for our position in Government league tables.”

Our full GCSE and IGCSE results are available here:

Our full A level, I A level and Pre-U results are available here



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