The proportion of students lacking 5+ A* – C GCSEs at the
end of Key Stage 4 (age 16) in London and England has changed over the decade
from 2005/06 through 2015/16.
Educational attainment across England has improved markedly over the past decade.
This graph shows that educational attainment improved more in London (particularly
Inner London) than in England as a whole between 2005/06 and 2012/13. Over
the past three years, improvements in educational attainment in both London and
England as a whole appear to have stalled.
In 2015/16, 39% of pupils in Outer London did not attain this level and 40% in Inner
London did not. The proportion not attaining this level in England as a whole was
significantly higher – 47%.
A decade ago, GCSE attainment in Inner London was worse than in England as
a whole. However, GCSE attainment in Inner London improved more quickly than
England as a whole in the mid-2000s, and Inner London attainment surpassed
England-wide attainment in 2009/10. Since then, the attainment gap between both
Inner and Outer London and England as a whole has grown.
However, Inner London schools are currently facing real terms budget reductions,
as well as uncertainty around how a new Schools National Funding Formula may
affect their funding in the future. Any significant funding reductions may jeopardise the
attainment gains of the past decade.
After the upward turn in 2013/14 due to methodological changes, the rates of pupils
not achieving five A* – C GCSE grades (or equivalent) including English and maths
stabilised at a higher rate than the years before 2013/14, but still far below the rates
of a decade before.*
The upturn in 2013/14 was steeper in England than London,
suggesting that pupils in London were less likely to be completing qualifications that
were disregarded under the new methodology.
* This graph uses data from
Department for Education. The
methodology behind the data for
this chart changed in 2013/14: two
major reforms were implemented
which affect the calculation of Key
stage 4 performance measures
data: 1) Professor Alison Wolf’s
Review of Vocational Education
recommendations which: restrict
the qualifications counted; prevent
any qualification from counting as
larger than one GCSE; and cap the
number of non-GCSEs included in
performance measures at two per
pupil, and 2) an early entry policy to
only count a pupil’s first attempt at
a qualification, in subjects counted
in the English Baccalaureate. Data
before and after 2013/14 is not
directly comparable (thus data after
2013/14 is shown as a dotted line).