GCSE outcomes by centre type
GCSE outcomes by centre type
These tables and interactive graphs show summaries of GCSE outcomes in England by centre type.
For more explanation of these tables and graphs, click on the Questions and Answers tab.
Click on legend labels above to remove individual centre types
You can download all data using the button below:
1. What do the graphs and tables show?
The graphs and tables show the GCSE outcomes at a choice of grade thresholds by centre type (the type of school or college) for individual subjects. The outcomes are presented as cumulative percentages. This means that outcomes at grade 7/A include grades 7/A and above (ie grades 7, 8 and 9 or A and A*).
2. How were grades awarded in summer 2023?
The aim of awarding in summer 2023 was to return to pre-pandemic grading. As in any year, grade boundaries were set based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative evidence. The return to pre-pandemic grading means that national results will be lower than summer 2022 and it will be most meaningful to compare this year’s results with 2019, the last year that summer exams were taken before the pandemic. Further information is available on the Ofqual website, in the Ofqual student guide 2023, and in our blog 10 things to know about GCSE, AS and A level grades.
In 2020 and 2021, when GCSE, AS and A level grades were determined by teachers, national outcomes were higher than prior to the pandemic. Outcomes were also higher than pre-pandemic in 2022 when grading was at a midway point between summer 2019 and summer 2021 (see also Q3. How were grades awarded in summer 2022, summer 2021 and summer 2020?).
3. How were grades awarded in summer 2022, summer 2021 and summer 2020?
Awarding in summer 2022 was at a midway point between summer 2019 and summer 2021. As in any year, grade boundaries were set based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative evidence. Further information is available on the Ofqual website, in the student guide to exams and formal assessments in 2021 to 2022, and in our blog post from 2022.
Ahead of summer 2021, the government determined that many exams and assessments could not be held fairly as a result of the disruption students had faced due to the pandemic. Teachers were asked instead to submit grades to the exam boards, based on their assessment of what students have shown they know and can do, enabling progression to the next stage of education, training, or employment. The student guide to awarding in summer 2021 gives further information.
The summer 2020 exam series was cancelled due to the measures put in place in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Students were awarded either their centre assessment grade or the calculated grade, whichever was the higher. Further information about the alternative arrangements for awarding in summer 2020 is available on the Ofqual website.
4. Which centre types are included in the graphs?
We have used the following 9 centre types, as categorised in the National Centre Number (NCN) register. Centre types are self-reported by schools, colleges and other exam centres according to the following list of categories:
- Further education establishment
- Free schools
- Independent school
- Secondary comprehensive or middle school
- Secondary modern school
- Secondary selective school
- Sixth form college
- Other (eg college of higher education, university department, tutorial college, language school, special school, pupil referral unit, HM Young Offender Institute, HM Prison, training centre)
We have used the centre type that was reported for the summer 2023 awards and applied this categorisation across all years in the visualisation. This will introduce a small proportion of classification errors for past years where centres have changed categories prior to 2023.
Please note, the tertiary college category is no longer in use and centres that previously used this category are now classed as further education establishments.
5. Which subjects have been included?
We have included all GCSE subject groups which had centres with grades awarded in all years covered by the visualisation. Subjects are grouped using the groupings established by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). Most groupings contain a single subject but some groupings contain multiple subjects. For example, ‘classical subjects’ includes Biblical Hebrew, ancient history, classical civilisation, classical Greek and Latin.
6. Which centres are included?
For each subject group, we have only included centres which had grades awarded in all years covered by the visualisation so that comparisons between years are meaningful.
When viewing results for ‘All subjects combined’, this only includes data for the centre and subject combinations with grades awarded in all years. This means that, for example, if a centre offered numerous subjects but only mathematics had grades awarded in every year covered by the visualisation, only the centre’s mathematics outcomes would be included when viewing outcomes for ‘All subjects combined’.
7. Which students are included?
We have included all students in England, regardless of age.
8. Some combinations of subject and centre type don’t have many centres in them. Does that matter?
To limit the influence of individual candidates and centres on results, which is greater when numbers are small, we have imposed a minimum number of candidates and a minimum number of centres. For each subject, if there are not at least 100 grades awarded and at least 10 centres in any one centre type it is omitted from the graphs and tables.
Where there are a relatively small number of centres for a particular combination of subject and centre type, the graphs are likely to say more about the individual centres than the overall picture. Such cases should be interpreted with additional caution.
9. Why do some subjects show a note about using additional caution when interpreting results?
As a result of only including the data outlined above, some subjects’ outcomes contain a relatively small proportion of all grades issued for that subject. Where the visualisation contains less than two thirds of all grades issued in any year covered by the visualisation, additional caution is advised when interpreting outcomes as data may not be representative of all results.
10. Why are 7/A & above or 4/C & above reported instead of A or A to C?
GCSEs in England have been reformed with the process occurring in phases over several years. The reformed GCSEs are graded with a scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade. In the reformed GCSEs, grades 7 and 4 have been set to align with A and C in the previous specifications. More information on the GCSE reform timetable can be found in GCSE reform guidance published by Ofqual. Grades change over time from letters to a mixture of letters and numbers as a result of these reforms. All grades are now on the 9 to 1 scale.
11. Why are there differences between combined science and the other subjects?
Two GCSEs are awarded for combined science so the grades have two numbers separated by a hyphen.
12. Where do these data come from?
Awarding data are supplied to Ofqual by exam boards near to results day. At the point in time Ofqual receive the data, all certificates and entries may not have been fully processed. Additionally, the data do not reflect changes to grades that may occur after results.