Map of GCSE (9 to 1) grade outcomes by county in England




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Note: Only subjects taken by more than 2,500 students are included.

Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right 2021.



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1. What does the map show?

The map shows reformed GCSE full course results (the percentage of students achieving specific grades) in England by subject and county for the summer 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017 examinations series.


2. How are the counties on the map defined?

The counties presented are the ceremonial counties of England as defined by the Lord Lieutenancies Act 1997. The map does not show individual Local Authorities. The Greater London region includes the City of London. An Ordnance Survey OpenData map dataset was used to define the county boundaries on the map.


3. How were grades awarded in summer 2021 and summer 2020?

The government determined in January 2021 that many exams and assessments could not be held fairly in summer 2021 as a result of the disruption students have 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 the 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. What subjects are included?

The subjects presented are reformed GCSE (9 to 1) subjects which were taken by at least 2,500 students in summer 2021.


5. Why are only some subjects included for 2017?

GCSEs have been reformed in stages. English language, English literature and mathematics were the first GCSE subjects to be reformed and were the only GCSE (9 to 1) subjects certificated in 2017.


6. Which students are included?

For each subject listed, you can choose to see results for either all students, or just students aged 16 (the age that most students take GCSEs). In addition, for mathematics and English language, you can also see results for students aged 17 to 19.


7. Why are the grades 9 to 1?

As part of the reform of GCSE qualifications, the old grading scale of A* to G has been replaced. In reformed GCSEs, the grading scale is 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade. Students can also receive a grade 'U' which means 'unclassified' - below the standard required for a grade 1 or above. GCSE combined science is a double award and the grading scale for this subject is 9-9 to 1-1.


8. What does the pop-up box show?

When you click on any county on the map a pop-up box will appear. The pop-up box provides more information for the county based on the options you have selected (year, subject, grades and students). It also allows you to compare the county figures to the overall England figures. The key information displayed in a pop-up box is:

  • the number of students in the county (in relevant age group) who certificated in the subject
  • the proportion in county receiving the selected grades
  • the proportion in England overall receiving the grades

For instance, in 2018, there were 7,525 students, aged 16, who certificated in English language in Norfolk. Of those 7,525 students, 2% achieved grade 9. In comparison, the proportion of 16-year olds who achieved grade 9 in English language that year in England was 2.6%.

The number of students has been rounded to the nearest five. Where there are fewer than 25 students, this is indicated as 'fewer than 25' and where there are no students this is indicated as '0'.


9. What do the different colours in the map indicate?

The different colours indicate the range of the percentage of students achieving the grades selected across all of the counties. Therefore, the range given in the map legend changes with the options selected by you.

The colours range from dark representing higher percentages to light representing lower percentages.


10. Why are we publishing this data?

We are publishing this data in the interests of openness and transparency and so that schools, policymakers and other stakeholders can access this data in an interactive manner and explore grade outcomes in England and across counties.


11. Where does this data come from?

Data are supplied to Ofqual by examination 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.


12. What is the function of the 'reset view' button?

The 'reset view' button will reset the zoom and map location to the default zoom level and a centered location within the map panel.


13. How do I scroll up and down the map?

If you are using a laptop or desktop computer you can scroll up, down, left and right using the arrow keys. If you are on a mobile or a tablet you can scroll the map using two fingers.


For any feedback on these graphs, please contact data.analytics@ofqual.gov.uk.

Return to the Ofqual Analytics home page.

If you need an accessible version of this information to meet specific accessibility requirements, please email publications@ofqual.gov.uk with details of your request.