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Changes to performance measures

For several years staff, pupils, parents/carers, employers and the media have understood how well a pupil has performed through the 5 GCSE A* – C (including English and mathematics) indicator. The Government has introduced new indicators from 2016 that measure both progress and attainment. These are:

  • National standard in both English and mathematics
  •  Attainment 8
  • Progress 8
  • English Baccalaureate 

Progress 8

Progress 8 is a value-added measure based on the academic progress made by each child throughout their secondary education.  It indicates progress across a suite of 8 subjects promoting a broad and balanced curriculum.  The measure will be based on pupils' performance across a range of subjects. Subjects are placed into three different groups

  • Group 1: English and mathematics,
  • Group 2: Sciences (including computer science), humanities (history and geography) and languages (French and Spanish)
  • Group 3: An 'open group' consisting of all other subjects

The diagram and tables below show how Attainment 8 and Progress 8 scores are calculated.  You will notice that English and mathematics grades are double counted as these are seen as critical subjects.  The 'facilitating subjects' are those that are classed as traditional academic subjects, which many top universities regard as important entry qualifications.  All remaining subjects fall into the 'open group'.

Each pupil will gain an Attainment 8 score to show their total attainment in the subjects that make up the Progress 8 measure. Every grade has a point score attached to it. English and mathematics point scores are doubled in value and so the Attainment 8 score is calculated from ten grades. The government will determine the point score that each student should achieve, based on their primary school levels in English and mathematics. The difference between these scores is calculated and then divided by ten to give the final Progress 8 score. A pupil with a Progress 8 score above zero has done better than average compared to other pupils of similar ability nationally. A progress 8 score below zero indicates that a pupil has performed below average when compared to other similar pupils.

More information about Progress 8 can be found by clicking here for a link to view the DfE guidance: