At Key Stage 4, London is the top performing region for the key attainment and progress measures. By key stage 5, that position slipped to 5th and 6th out of 9 regions. As part of our work on the GLA annual education report for 2015 (see our casestudy), we reviewed the underpinning data to understand the causes.
We found 4 interesting facts:
- Lower prior attainment – London schools are more likely to accept lower performing Key Stage 4 pupils into post-16 provision, especially on vocational courses. Whilst these pupils go on to achieve a full level 3 qualification, they are less likely to get as high an overall point score as students that have better prior attainment
- Overstretching – After GCSEs, pupils in London are more likely to attend a school rather than a college. Schools typically offer less level 2 provision than colleges. Students in London are therefore more likely to start a level 3 programme. In some cases a level 2 qualification might have been more appropriate
- Fewer A-levels per student – Fewer academic qualifications are taken per student in London making the points per student comparatively weaker than points per entry
- Fewer higher grades – London does well at getting students to obtain some A-level or equivalent (top ranked at achieving two E-grades at A-level) but not so good at the achievement of higher grades.
 Each GCSE-level qualification and grade is given a specific score in points. This is used to calculate:
- Points per entry – calculated as the sum of the points awarded to each student, divided by the total number of qualification entries.
- Points per student – calculated as the sum of the points awarded to each student, divided by the total number of students.