Examination Results 2024: What to expect this summer?

9th July 2024

In his latest blog, Alps Training Director Jevon Hirst looks ahead to what we might expect from the examination results in England this summer.

Getting Results Ready

As schools and colleges look ahead to both GCSE and post-16 examination results, my colleague Dr John Roe has written a useful blog providing a great range of tips to help colleagues prepare for August – ‘Getting Results Day Ready’.

In this blog, I anticipate what we are likely to see in terms of attainment and the implications regarding key value-added measures.

A-Level Examination Results

Following the record high levels of higher grades awarded during the CAG and TAG processes, results in 2023 returned to standards broadly in line with results awarded in 2019. However, it is worth noting that in terms of A-Levels the proportion of grades awarded at A*-B and above were slightly above those awarded in 2019.

Table 1 outlines the % of grades awarded by outcome band:

Table 1: A-Level attainment profile 2019-2023

Figure 1 shows that, from an individual subject perspective, there was also variation particularly when comparing outcomes across specific grades e.g. A*.

Figure 1. Percentage of A* grades awarded in 2019, 2022 and 2023 for selected A-Level subjects.

For some subjects, like mathematics, the proportion of A* grades awarded in 2023 was almost identical to those awarded in 2019. In other subjects, like Biology, the proportion of A grades awarded was still substantively higher in 2023 compared to 2019.

So, as we look forward to examination results in 2024, OFQUAL have indicated that the two-year transition to pre-pandemic grading is complete, and therefore they expect the results awarded in 2024 will be broadly similar to 2023.

However, it is important to note that precise outcomes are expected to vary a little to reflect the nature of this year’s cohort, and in this context, it is also worth remembering that unlike last year, there will be no ‘safety net’ as employed in 2023.

Value-Added Perspective

From a value-added perspective, the DfE will publish L3VA data for the first time since the pandemic. The important point to remember is that while the attainment profile of 2024 is likely to be similar to 2019, the prior attainment of this cohort of learners is likely to be substantively higher than the 2019 cohort, as the 2024 cohort had GCSEs awarded during the transition to 2019 outcomes.

Alps Customer Benchmarks

To support schools and colleges with early value-added analysis of their outcome data in what is another unique year, Alps will be generating customer-based A-Level Benchmarks in the week following A-Level Results Day.

We will also be creating benchmarks for a range of vocational qualifications sets shortly after that.

At a time where VA data based on both Post-16 results and the prior attainment generated from GCSE examination results has been absent for 4 years, this analysis will provide the first opportunity since 2019 to understand exactly how students are progressing across your curriculum without any of the recent caveats relating to CAGs and TAGs.

GCSE Examination Results

As with Post-16 results, OFQUAL have indicated that 2024 outcomes will be broadly similar to last year, but again I think it is reasonable to expect some variations as discussed in relation to the A-Level examination results above. If we look back at last year, we can see in Table 2, the proportion of students achieving key grades e.g. 9-7 was slightly above those in 2019.

Table 2. GCSE Attainment profile 2019-2023:

Table 2: GCSE Attainment Profile 2019-2023

Equally, at a subject level it is likely we will continue to see some variation in grades awarded across different subjects.

Unlike the A-Level examination results, we are likely to see a prior attainment profile that is similar to last year, and therefore, it is reasonable to expect that benchmarks and attainment 8 tables will be relatively similar to those in 2023.

Just like last year, Alps will generate attainment 8 profiles and subject benchmark sets from Alps provider data sets so that colleagues can analyse their Progress 8 and value-added data in the context of this year’s examination results prior to the release of validated data sets from the DfE.

End note from Alps:

We currently work with over 1,200 schools and colleges and 95 Groups and MATs in the UK and internationally, offering our high-quality analysis at both KS4 and KS5.

If you do not use Alps, but are interested in how Alps could support you to improve your outcomes, do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly team at [email protected] . You can also call us 01484 887600 and we will be delighted to speak to you, or you can book a demo with one of our knowledgeable team here.

About the author: Dr Jevon Hirst, Alps Training Director

Jevon has over 20 years’ experience working in education. Prior to joining Alps in 2020, Jevon has worked in a number of senior leadership roles within schools, with responsibilities for teaching, learning, curriculum, strategic planning, self-evaluation and student achievement. Central to these roles, has been the intelligent use of data to inform school improvement and maximise outcomes for students.

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