School League Tables: The St Edmund’s Attainment 8 and Progress 8 Score

School League Tables: The St Edmund’s Attainment 8 and Progress 8 Score

Many of you will have heard about the new way in which the government measure a school’s success: the Progress 8 score. You may also have seen in the school league tables or the press that the St Edmund’s Progress 8 score looks very low. Let me reassure you that there is a very specific reason for this and that students at St Edmund’s last year actually made better than average progress.

To calculate the Progress 8 score, an average grade of  all of the Year 11 students’ GCSE results is calculated (Attainment 8 Score) and compared with an expected average grade – this is based on what those students achieved in Year 6 at primary school (Key Stage 2 SAT results).

However, students at St Edmund’s sit their English Language GCSE a year early (at the end of Year 10) and in 2017, the government didn’t include these English Language GCSE results in the Progress 8 calculation because it was the old-style GCSE exam(A*-U grades).

In the Progress 8 calculation, because English is such an important subject, the English grade (along with Maths) is worth double the score that other subjects are. Therefore, by not including the English Language results, our ‘official’ Progress 8 score was hugely affected.

We did our own calculations though and, if the English Language grades had been included, the St Edmund’s Progress 8 score would have been a positive score of around +0.1. This shows that students at St Edmund’s made better progress than was expected of them, based on their Key Stage 2 achievement.

To summarise, if your daughter attends St Edmund’s, she will achieve better GCSE grades here than she would at the majority of secondary schools across both the county and nationally.

The decision for students to sit English Language a year early in Year 10 was made because we believe it is what is right for students and what will give them the very best chance of the very best grades. Every decision that we make is rooted in what is best for the girls at St Edmund’s and not what is best for the league tables. Going forward, all exams undertaken are the new-style GCSE, so will, from this year on, now be included in the Progress 8 score.

For a full explanation of how the Progress 8 score is calculated, please see the guide here. (

Nicola Bull