Letter: Conflicting GCSE data

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As Chair of West Sussex Heads I just wanted to ensure that you were fully aware that some of the GCSE data you are publishing is conflicting and often appearing to compare like with like when in fact, through no fault of your reporters, you are not.

So, I thought it might be helpful, in the spirit of accuracy, to outline some key things.

The main data that is deemed the most important is the percentage of students that got at least 5 A*-C INCLUDING English and Maths.

This is not the same as saying “English and Maths results averaged at 70%” but could be read as such. The 5 inclusive figure for us, for example is 63% when our English and Maths averages were 75% and 71%. So it is worth being careful!

Also, schools will want to share their 5+ A*-C EXCLUDING Eng & Maths and these figures will be much larger, I.e ours is 84% but this should not be misreported as the main figure as detailed above.

I feel a little sorry for you as some press releases might not help you in reporting school performance accurately and I think it is essential that the media portray accurately the achievements of all local children.

Jonathan Morris, headteacher, St Wilfrid’s Catholic School