2017 GCSE and post 16 results statement

The finalised GCSE and A-Level results for Plymouth show a mixed picture.

The city’s A-level results are broadly in-line with national figures, with students receiving average grades of C+ for their best three courses. GCSE results are showing performance of Plymouth schools is below other parts of the country.

In English and mathematics a total of 38.1 per cent of students are achieving a strong pass against a national average of 42.6 per cent. Despite these disappointing results 96 per cent of Plymouth student now progress into further education or employment against a national average of 94 per cent.

This is the first year that some subjects including, English language, English literature and maths move to a numerical scoring system, whist other subjects remain on the old A*to G system.

Councillor Terri Beer, Cabinet member for Children and Young people said: “Whilst we are seeing some good results from some schools and individuals, we also need to work to obtain higher standards across the whole educational offer. The work that is now in place will help to support schools and settings to secure further improvement, including our city wide STEM strategy. This will enable more of our residents to become employable by achieving good quality grades in vital subjects thus allowing them to demonstrate the skills needed to succeed in work”.

David Maddison, Chief Executive Officer of Plymouth Learning Partnership commenting on the published validated GCSE results said: “We must remember that it is pointless making comparisons this year as these are still relatively new qualifications, with more demanding content, and a different system of assessment. Raw results don’t take account of a school’s context. Even though each school sets a curriculum to meet the needs of their own cohort of children, collectively we are working hard with colleagues across Plymouth and beyond, to identify trends in performance that will enable a coordinated response.”

Earlier this month Cabinet supported a new vision for education in the city that will see schools, academies and nurseries creating a partnership with the Council as part of a bold move to drive up improvements through more collaboration and support across education in the city.

The Plan for Education sets out a vision of what the class of 2020 to look like. The plan wants schools to:

• Increase the proportion of pupils gaining a good GCSE in English and maths to be in line with or exceed national average
• Reduce the gaps in attainment between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils by 50 per cent at the end of KS4
• Raise the attainment of boys by 10 per cent by the end of KS4
• Increase the achievement of pupils with special educational needs.

Assistant Director for Education, Participation and Skills Judith Harwood said: “Our plan for education is not just about better results, but about raising ambition and giving our young people the right skills to go out into the world of work and further education with confidence.”

The partnership would mean schools and other education settings could access expert support to help them improve attainment levels and raise aspirations in our young people. It would also explore using innovation to address issues.