Skip to main content

General Certificate of Secondary Education

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what proportion of pupils gaining five A* to C GCSEs, including English and mathematics, were awarded five C grades in 2007; (200326)

(2) what proportion of pupils gaining five A* to C GCSEs, including English and mathematics, were awarded a C grade in both English and mathematics in 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many otherwise eligible pupils were not entered for any GCSE examinations in the last year for which figures are available. (200329)

There were 12,178 (1.88 per cent.) out of a total of 649,159 eligible pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 not entered for any GCSE examinations in the 2006/07 academic year.

However, only 3,099 (0.48 per cent.) out of a total of 649,159 eligible pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 were not entered for any GCSE or equivalent examinations in the 2006/07 academic year. This includes other qualifications approved for use pre-16 such as NVQs, Key Skills and Entry Level Qualifications.

Further information on GCSE examination entry and achievement can be found in the Statistical First Release 'GCSE and Equivalent Examination Results in England 2006/07' available at:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000768/index.shtml

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many year 11 children did not achieve (a) five A* to C GCSEs and (b) five A* to C GCSEs, including English and mathematics, in each year from 1997 to 2007; and if he will make a statement. (201065)

The available information is in the following table:

Percentage who did not achieveNumber of students who did not achieve (thousand)

Total number of pupils1 (thousand)

5+ A*-C grades

5+ A*-C grades 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs

5+ A*-C grades

5+ A*-C grades 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs

15 year olds

1995-96

594

55.5

64.8

330

385

1996-972

587

54.9

64.4

322

378

1997-98

575

53.7

63.0

309

362

1998-99

581

52.1

61.4

303

357

1999-2000

580

50.8

60.0

295

348

2000-01

603

50.0

59.3

302

358

2001-02

607

48.4

57.9

294

351

2002-03

622

47.1

58.1

293

361

2003-043

644

46.3

57.4

298

369

2004-05

637

43.7

55.7

278

355

2005-06

649

41.5

54.7

269

355

2006-07

656

39.2

54.0

257

354

Pupils at End Key Stage 4

2004-05

633

42.9

55.1

272

349

2005-06

646

40.8

54.2

264

350

2006-07

649

38.0

53.3

247

346

1. Number of pupils on roll aged 15 at the start of the academic year or from 2004-05 end of Key Stage 4 figures are the number of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in that academic year. 2. Percentages from 1996-97 include GCSEs and GNVQs. 3. Percentages from 2003-04 include GCSEs and other equivalent qualifications approved for use pre-16.

Further information on GCSE examination achievement can be found in the Statistical First Release 'GCSE and Equivalent Examination Results in England 2006-07' available at:

http://www.dcsfgov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000768/index.shtml.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what targets he has set for the proportion of pupils achieving (a) five A* to C GCSEs and (b) five A* to C GCSEs including English and mathematics by (i) 2010 and (ii) 2020; and if he will make a statement. (201075)

The existing suite of Public Service Agreements (PSAs) targets expires this year, and as part of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), a new set of PSAs and national targets is to be delivered by 2011. No formal GCSE targets are due for delivery in 2010.

There are currently no formal targets set for 2020, although the Children's Plan, launched last December, sets out the ambition that by 2020 at least 90 per cent. of young people should achieve the equivalent of five higher GCSEs at age 19.

In addition, the new PSA targets have a dual focus on ensuring that pupils reach the levels expected for their age in both English and mathematics (threshold targets) and improving the rates of progress made by pupils from ages 5 to 16 (new progression targets) with increased attention to achieving faster progress for underachieving groups such as children in care and minority ethnic pupils.

The progression targets will be a major factor in helping all pupils—regardless of their background and circumstances—to realise their potential in English and mathematics in particular. By 2011 we want to see a 15 percentage point improvement in the number of pupils making two levels of progress in English and a 13 percentage point improvement in those making two levels of progress in mathematics between Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

The Key Stage 4 (GCSE) threshold target is for 53 per cent. of pupils to achieve 5A*-C GCSEs (and equivalent), including GCSEs in both English and maths by 2011.

In the Budget announcement of 12 March 2008, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced new funding to bring forward by a year to 2011 the Government's ambition for no school to have less than 30 per cent. of its pupils achieving 5 A*-C at GCSE, including English and maths. This programme is called the National Challenge.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what assessment he has made of the likely effect on pupils' average GCSE grades of moving to modular GCSEs from September 2009; and if he will make a statement; (201085)

(2) what proportion of GCSEs will be examined in modular form in (a) 2008, (b) 2009, (c) 2010 and (d) 2011; and what proportion were so examined in 2005.

It has been open to awarding bodies to propose either linear or modular GCSEs for a considerable time. In 2005 around 27 per cent. of GCSE specifications on which young people were examined were modular. Following changes to GCSE science specifications for first teaching in 2006, around 35 per cent. of specifications are now modular and these will apply to qualifications awarded up to 2010.

GCSE criteria for all subjects other than English, mathematics, ICT and science were revised in 2007, and the provisions allowing either linear or modular GCSEs remained unchanged. Awarding bodies have recently submitted new GCSE specifications for accreditation for first teaching in September 2009. It is not possible to say what proportion of GCSE specifications examined in 2011 will be in modular form until decisions have been taken on accreditation by Ofqual, the independent regulator of

qualifications. The outcome of the accreditation process will be made public in the summer.

It is Ofqual's responsibility, as regulator, to ensure that standards are maintained so that students achieve the appropriate grade based on their knowledge, understanding and skills, regardless of whether the specification they are studying is modular or not. All GCSE specifications require that students undertake at least 40 per cent. of their assessment at the end of the course, and students are only able to retake individual modules of their GCSEs once.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what percentage of eligible pupils were not entered for an English, mathematics, science nor foreign language GCSE in each year since 1997. (201239)

The readily available information is as follows:

There were 367.2 thousand pupils, approximately 57 per cent. of eligible pupils, who were not entered for English, mathematics, science and a modern language GCSE at the end of Key Stage 4 in the 2006/07 academic year.

There were 332.7 thousand pupils, approximately 52 per cent. of eligible pupils, who were not entered for English, mathematics, science and a modern language GCSE at the end of Key Stage 4 in the 2005/2006 academic year.

There were 269.8 thousand pupils, approximately 43 per cent. of eligible pupils, who were not entered for English, mathematics, science and a modern language GCSE at the end of Key Stage 4 in the 2004/05 academic year.

Further information can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The latest information on GCSE examination entry and achievement can be found in the Statistical First Release “GCSE and Equivalent Examination Results in England 2006/07” available at:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000768/index.shtml

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of Key Stage 4 pupils achieved no GCSEs at grade C or higher in each year from 1997 to 2007. (201306)

The information requested is in the following table.

Percentage of pupils achieving no GCSEs at grade C or higher

Number of pupils achieving no GCSEs at grade C or higher (to the nearest 100)

1996/97

27.8

159,000

1997/98

26.9

150,700

1998/99

27.4

159,200

1999/2000

26.4

153,200

2000/01

26.0

156,900

2001/02

24.8

150,400

2002/03

24.2

150,600

2003/04

24.2

155,700

2004/05

21.5

136,200

2005/06

20.1

129,800

2006/07

17.5

113,600

Note:

Figures up to and including 2003/04 are based on 15-year-old pupils (age at start of academic year, i.e. 31 August). Figures from 2004/05 onwards are based on pupils at the end of Key Stage 4.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) in which local authority areas more than 80 per cent. of secondary schools did not have over 50 per cent. of pupils achieving five or more A* to C GCSEs in 2007, including English and mathematics; (201471)

(2) how many and what proportion of secondary schools did not have 30 per cent. or more of Key Stage 4 pupils obtaining at least five A* to C GCSEs, including English and mathematics, for each year from 1990 to 2007; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what the top 10 schools by (a) contextual value-added scores and (b) improved GCSE results over the previous year were in 2007;

(4) which 20 local authorities had the highest proportion of secondary school children in schools achieving less than 30 per cent. five A* to C grade at GCSE including English and mathematics in 2007; and if he will make a statement;

(5) which 20 local authorities had the lowest performance in terms of the change in the proportion of their Key Stage 4 pupils achieving five or more A* to C GCSEs including English and mathematics between 1997 and 2007; and if he will make a statement.

The information for the past four years can be obtained from the Achievement and Attainment Tables found in the House of Commons Library. Information for other years can be provided only at disproportionate cost.