Academic year 2022/23

A level and other 16 to 18 results

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See all updates (1) for Academic year 2022/23
  1. Updated with revised data for the 2022/23 Academic year including additional section on "Attainment in Multi-academy trusts".

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Introduction

In 2022/23 there was a return to pre-pandemic standards for GCSEs, AS and A levels, with protection built into the grading process to recognise the disruption that students have faced. For VTQs that are taken alongside, or instead of, GCSEs and A levels, there was also a return to pre-pandemic standards in 2022/23. More information on qualification grading approaches in 2023 and in 2022 can be found at Exam results 2023: 10 things to know about GCSE, AS and A level grades - The Ofqual blog and Vocational and technical qualifications grading in 2023  - The Ofqual blog and Ofqual’s approach to grading assessments in summer 2022 article.

The 16 to 18 performance measures reported in this release for the 2022/23 academic year have been affected by the following factors: 

  • The return to pre-pandemic grading in 2022/23, with some protections. 
  • 2023 performance measures may include some qualification grades that were awarded in 2021/22 using a different grading approach.
  • Results achieved between January 2020 and August 2021 are not included in the calculations.
  • The ongoing uneven impacts of the pandemic on different schools/colleges and students.

Throughout this release, comparisons are made with 2022 and with 2019. The more meaningful comparison is with 2019, which is the last year that summer exams were taken before the pandemic, as 2023 saw a return to pre-pandemic grading, with some protections. In 2022, outcomes broadly reflected a mid-point between 2019 and 2021, to take account of the impact of the pandemic and in line with Ofqual’s approach to grading in 2022. It is expected that performance in 2023 will generally be lower than in 2022. For this reason, users need to exercise extreme caution when considering comparisons over time, as they may not reflect changes in student performance alone.


Headline facts and figures - 2022/23

  • Average point score per entry (APS) is lower than 2021/22, across all cohorts. This is as expected with the return to pre-pandemic grading.
  • Gaps between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students have decreased in comparison to last year; the widest gap is seen for the A level cohort.
  • Female students perform better than male students for all level 3 cohorts, but gaps have decreased since 2021/22.
  • The rank order of attainment by ethnicity has remained almost unchanged at A level through the Covid-pandemic; the Chinese ethnic group have the highest APS and the Black or Black British ethnic group has the lowest APS.
  • For A level and applied general cohorts, the decrease in average point score (APS) this year affected all major institution types (other FE sector colleges, sixth form colleges, all independent schools and all state-funded schools), however they remain slightly higher than in 2018/19.
  • There was an overall rise in the number of below level 3 entries across both English and maths compared with 2021/22. This follows the return of the summer exam series in 2021/22 and a drop in the proportion of pupils achieving grades 4 or above in English and maths GCSE during key stage 4.

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Additional supporting files

All supporting files from this release are listed for individual download below:

Changes from provisional 2022/23 data

Checking exercise 

This updated release is based on revised data. Since the release of provisional data in November, amendments to the data have been made by schools and colleges through a ‘checking exercise’.  

The checking exercise takes place in the autumn term and gives schools and colleges the opportunity to amend their data. Some students are removed from a school or colleges results, for example because the student wasn’t on roll or has not yet completed 16-18 study. Some students are added where they are flagged by a school or college as having completed 16-18 study despite not being triggered. Changes need to be approved to be included in revised data.  

The 2021/22 academic year saw the return of the school and college checking exercise, after it was suspended in the two previous years. In this release, data for 2019/20 and 2020/21 is labelled as ‘final’ data. This is provisional data adjusted for results from the autumn series for AS and A levels. (The autumn series gave students an opportunity to sit an exam if they were unhappy with the grade awarded to them through the alternative process). Data from 2019/20 and 2020/21 did not go through a checking exercise; schools and colleges did not have an opportunity to amend their data as described above. 

The table shows the size of the change between provisional and revised/final data. Generally, the change in the numbers of students included in the data in 2022/23 is relatively small compared to the overall cohort size.   

In most cases, the size of the change between provisional and revised data smaller in 2022/23 than in 2018/19. Changes to the trigger rule were introduced to reduce the burden on schools and colleges. This gives an indication that the change is working as intended.  

Change in the number of students between the provisional and revised/final data:
 Report Year2018/192019/202020/212021/222022/23
Versionrevised final final revised revised 
Students at the end of 16-18 studyNumber Change-25,9921,7319,6588,522-767
Percentage Change-4.21%0.29%2.01%1.47%-0.13%
A levelNumber Change-6,091414399-234-1,010
Percentage Change-2.10%0.15%0.15%-0.08%-0.34%
Applied generalNumber Change3,9504353,9521,421-52
Percentage Change6.09%0.55%4.60%1.20%-0.04%
Tech levelNumber Change179797161,46147
Percentage Change0.09%4.46%3.54%5.40%0.17%
Technical certificateNumber Change-4381364765524
Percentage Change-7.60%1.58%1.42%87.45%0.63%

The table below shows the size of the change in the average point score (APS) between the provisional and the revised release. The changes to APS are minimal, mostly impacting the A level cohort. 
A change of 0.1 pts at A level / applied general / tech level is equivalent to 1/100th of a grade. 

Change in Average Point Score (APS) per entry between the provisional and revised/final data:  
Report year 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/222022/23
version revised final final revised revised
A level  0.24  0.13  0.06  0.10 0.13
Applied general  0.54  0.00 -0.13  0.10 0.00
Tech level  0.21  0.16 -0.09 -0.05 0.00
Technical certificate  0.02 -0.01  0.00  0.07 0.00

 

 

About the data

A/AS levels and vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) awarded in summer 2023 and published in August

Exams in England largely returned to pre-pandemic arrangements in summer 2023, but with protections built in to recognise the disruption that students have faced. Statistics in this release for 2022/23 include grades received by students as announced on 17 August 2023. The exam grades have been matched to students to enable student level analyses.

Breakdowns of the grades achieved in summer 2023 were previously published on results day by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). These statistics were at exam entry level for students of all ages in England and the UK. However, data in this statistical release covers exam entries by 16 to 18 year olds in schools and colleges in England.

In addition, Ofqual also routinely publish statistics on results day for students in England.

Performance measures methodology

The methodologies for performance measures data in 2023 are unchanged from 2022. 

Data for 2023, like data for 2022, excludes results of qualifications awarded between January 2020 and August 2021, including AS and A level qualifications taken as part of the extraordinary autumn 2021 examination series. This means that where students have taken three years to complete 16-18 study and have also entered a qualification during their first year – the 2020/21 academic year – these results will not count towards 2023 performance measures.

The impact of removing grades awarded through the Centre Assessment Grades (CAG) in 2020 and Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG) in 2021 was greater in 2021/22, where students who took three years to compete 16-18 study would have had results from their first and second year not count in 2022 performance measures (see section ‘Changes introduced in the 2021/22 release’ of the Methodology).

As previously mentioned, the 16 to 18 statistics reported in this release have been affected by the following factors: 

  • The return to pre-pandemic grading in 2022/23, with some protections. 
  • 2023 measures may include some qualification grades that were awarded in 2021/22, which used a different grading approach.
  • Results achieved between January 2020 and August 2021 are not included in the calculations.
  • The ongoing uneven impacts of the pandemic on different schools/colleges and pupils.

The return to pre-pandemic grading means performance in 2023 is expected to be lower than in 2022. National statistics based on results from 2023 can be most meaningfully compared to 2019, the last year that summer exams were taken before the pandemic. 

As a result, users need to exercise extreme caution when considering comparisons over time, as they may not reflect changes in student performance alone, and likely reflect the changes in grading approach and in the methodology for calculating the measures, rather than demonstrating a difference in standards.

Deciding when a student is at the end of 16-18 study

Students are eligible to be included in 16 to 18 performance measures if they are of academic age 16, 17 or 18 at the start of the 2022/23 academic year (31 August 2022) and at the end of their 16-18 studies. They are identified as being at the end of 16-18 study when they first meet at least one of the following criteria:

a) they have entered at least 2 qualifications, each of which is at least the size of an A level, or they have entered at least 1 qualification the size of at least 2 A levels, in the reporting year; OR 

b) they have entered for both a T Level core and T Level occupational specialism during 16-18 study OR

c) they are 18 at the start of the reporting year and have not been reported in 16 to 18 performance measures at their current allocated school or college.

The new rule b) specific to T Level component qualifications is to ensure T Level students are included for reporting in the most appropriate reporting year (T Level attainment will not be included in performance data until 2023/24, but this rule is applied a year early to produce the intended cohort when reporting begins). Reporting for existing exam cohorts is unaffected.

Schools or colleges are still able to defer students who meet criteria a) or b) but who are continuing their 16-18 study, as part of the checking exercise, as long as the student has not reached age 18 before the start of the reporting year. 

Note, a student eligible for reporting in 16 to 18 performance measures will still also need to meet criteria for each performance measure to be included in that measure. For example, to be included in the average point score per A level entry, the student must have been entered for at least an AS qualification.

Introduction: students and results reported in these statistics

Unless stated otherwise statistics reported here refer to 16 to 18 year olds in England:

  • who reached the end of their 16-18 study in 2022/23. Students typically spend either two or three years in the 16 to 18 phase. Usually, attainment includes results from qualifications entered during all those years. However, for data published last year and this year, attainment excludes results from qualifications that were awarded between January 2020 and August 2021. 
  • who entered qualifications approved for reporting in 2023 school and college performance tables, set out in the 16 to 18 qualifications, discount codes and point scores guidance.
  • at state-funded schools and colleges or independent schools in England; more details set out in Annex A of the Methodology.

Qualifications are grouped into A level (subset of Academic), applied general, and tech level exam cohorts at level 3, and technical certificates at level 2. Applied general, tech level and technical certificates are ‘vocational and technical qualifications’ (VTQs). Students can be reported in more than one exam cohort. Further detail on the cohorts is available in 16 to 18 accountability headline measures: technical guide.

Most exam cohorts show an increase in numbers this year, except the Tech level cohort

The A level cohort, which includes students who only enter AS levels, continues to grow following an initial decline when A and AS levels were decoupled during A level reform.

The number of students entering level 3 qualifications has increased by 1.7%, mostly driven by the A level and applied general cohort. By comparison, this is slightly larger than the increase in the number of students at the end of 16-18 study (0.8%). It may be that students receiving centre-assessment and teacher-assessed grades (CAGs and TAGs) at Key Stage 4 in 2019/20 and 2020/21 were more likely to enter level 3 qualifications at 16 to 18. 

When comparing to cohort numbers for students finishing 16-18 study in 2018/19, there is a large increase in participation of level 3 vocational and technical qualifications. This can be attributed to the regrowth of the approved applied general and tech level cohorts following qualification reform (2017/18) and consequent removal of funding approval from older qualifications (2020/21). 

In contrast, although the technical certificate cohort has recovered from the delayed impact of excluding results awarded by CAG and TAG processes that was seen last year (see section ‘Changes introduced in the 2021/22 release’ of the Methodology), it has not continued to grow following reform in 2018/19. Low numbers this year, as mentioned above, may be due to a greater number of students opting to take level 3 rather than level 2 qualifications on the strength of their Key Stage 4 results.

Disadvantaged students are unevenly represented in 16 to 18 cohorts

Disadvantaged status at 16 to 18 is as recorded at the end of Key Stage 4. Pupils are defined as disadvantaged at Key Stage 4 if they are known to have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the past six years (from year 6 to year 11), if they are recorded as having been looked after for at least one day or if they are recorded as having been adopted from care.

Disadvantage measures do not include students who were not reported at the end of KS4 – for example, because they came from overseas. Students who were known to be at independent schools in their last year of KS4 are treated as non-disadvantaged.

Disadvantage measures cover students in state-funded schools or colleges during 16-18 study.

At the end of 16-18 study, 23.4% of state-funded students were recorded as having disadvantaged status in 2022/23. The percentage of disadvantaged students entering level 3 vocational and technical qualifications was generally in line with this (applied general 22.5% and tech level 23.2%). However, disadvantaged students continue to be overrepresented in the technical certificate cohort and underrepresented in the A level cohort, with 34.2% and 14.2% respectively having disadvantaged status.

The proportion of students with high prior attainment has increased across all level 3 exam cohorts.

Prior attainment is a measure of the average points attained per qualification at Key Stage 4. Simple discounting rules apply, with the best result in any subject used when calculating the average point score at KS4. Any GCSE resits or additional qualifications gained during 16 to 18 study are ignored. For the vast majority of students, prior attainment is between 0-9, reflecting the range of possible grades at GCSE (where 9 is the highest grade).

[Note, whilst results from January 2020 to August 2021 are removed from calculation of performance measures, for the purposes of this statistical release they will be retained when calculating a student’s prior attainment to explain outcomes in performance measures, in the same way that outcomes nationally are broken down by gender, disadvantage, etc].

In 2022/23, 21.2% of students at the end of their 16-18 study had the highest prior attainment (grade 7+). The proportion of students with the highest prior attainment has increased every year since 2019/20 (from when this prior attainment data is available). 

The A level cohort has the highest proportion of students with high prior attainment, at 40.4%. The proportion of students with the lowest prior attainment (grade 0 to <4) has decreased across all cohorts. The technical certificate cohort has the highest proportion of students with low prior attainment (58.5% of the cohort) however this is still lower than was seen before the impact of CAGs and TAGs on Key Stage 4 prior attainment. 

Attainment by exam cohort

These figures give the average points and average result that students achieved throughout their 16 to 18 study. Points are given to all qualifications so we can compare qualifications of different size and grading structures. A maximum of 60 points are available for A level, 50 points for applied general and tech level and 8 points for technical certificates. More information on points, average point score bands and grade boundaries can be found in the 16 to 18 accountability headline measures: technical guide

Average point score per entry (APS) is lower than last year, across all exam cohorts

In September 2022, Ofqual announced that 2023 would mark a return to pre-pandemic grading, but with some protection against disruption due to the impact of COVID-19.  Consequently, and as expected, the average point score (APS) for all level 3 cohorts showed a continued decline from its highest point in 2020/21 but remained slightly higher for the A level and applied general cohorts than in 2018/19. The sustained higher APS is most notable for A levels, which remains nearly a point and a half higher than in 2018/19, equating to a grade B- rather than C+. The APS for technical certificates has shown little variation through recent years.

Attainment by institution type

The A level average point score has decreased across all institution types 

Among the major institution types, the decrease since 2021/22 is greatest for ‘Other FE sector colleges’ at -4.1 pts. However, A level APS for all major institutions types remain slightly higher than 2018/19.  Further detail is provided in the table for different types of state-funded schools showing some variation in the size of the decreases in A level APS seen this year. Note that data for some institution types is based on small numbers of students. 

Average point score (APS) for vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) have also generally decreased

The applied general average point score (APS) has decreased since last year across all major institution types, but remains higher than in 2018/19. All independent schools had the largest decrease, at -3.9 points, but note that relatively few students from independent schools enter these qualifications when compared to other major institution types. 

Tech levels are predominantly entered in ‘Other FE sector’ colleges and in state-funded schools. In both cases, APS fell since last year and they are now broadly comparable to 2018/19. Technical certificates, which have few entries outside of ‘Other FE sector’ colleges, show no pattern in the variation of APS over recent years.

Attainment by region and local authority

Average point score varies widely at the level of local authorities

At regional level, the South East and London have the highest average point score (APS) for the A level cohort, with Yorkshire and The Humber and the North West performing better for applied generals. However these regional aggregations mask much more varied APS at the level of local authorities. For this reason, users should exercise caution when making geographical generalisations.

Attainment by disadvantage status

Disadvantage status at 16-18 is as recorded at the end of Key Stage 4. Pupils are defined as disadvantaged at Key Stage 4 if they are known to have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the past six years (from year 6 to year 11), if they are recorded as having been looked after for at least one day or if they are recorded as having been adopted from care.

Disadvantage measures do not include students who were not reported at the end of KS4 – for example, because they came from overseas. Students who were known to be at independent schools in their last year of KS4 are treated as non-disadvantaged.

Disadvantage measures, and all breakdowns including disadvantage status, cover students in state-funded schools or colleges only.

In 2022/23, the average point score (APS) for students with disadvantaged status and non-disadvantaged status has decreased across all level 3 cohorts, with scores more in line with 2018/19 for both disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students. 

Gaps between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students have decreased in comparison to last year

The A level cohort continues to have the highest disadvantaged gap, at 4.9 pts, unchanged from 2018/19. However, the disadvantage gap for the applied general and tech level cohorts remains higher than in 2018/19 (applied general 2.4 vs. 1.5 pts, tech level 2.7 vs. 2.4 pts). 

Disadvantaged students also have lower retention rates

To get a fuller picture on the impact of disadvantaged status, this data should be looked at in conjunction with data on retention rates (the percentage of students who have completed their main study programme at a provider). In 2021/22, 95.2% of non-disadvantaged A level students were retained and assessed compared to 89.6% of disadvantaged students. Students can only be included in the APS measure if they are entered for examination i.e. if they are retained and assessed. More information on 2021/22 retention can be found in the 2021/22 version of this statistical release. An update to this statistical release with 2022/23 retention figures is expected to be released in March/April 2024.

Attainment by gender

Female students perform better than male students for all level 3 cohorts

The gender gap has decreased in comparison to last year. When compared to 2018/19, the gap in favour of females for the A level cohort is slightly lower (1.3 pts in 2018/19, 1.2 pts in 2022/23). The gap for the applied general cohort is also lower (3.0 pts in 2018/19, 2.5 pts in 2022/23). The gap for tech level was -0.5 pts in 2018/19, which means that male students scored higher, however the gap in 2022/23 is close to zero (0.1 pts) with females scoring slightly higher. 

The disadvantage gap for female students is slightly higher than for male students

The proportion of male students who are disadvantaged (13.4%) and female students who are disadvantaged (15.0%) is broadly similar at A level. However, the disadvantage gap is slightly higher for female than male students (5.1 and 4.8pts respectively).

Attainment by ethnicity

Ethnicity is as reported at the end of Key Stage 4. Not all student characteristics are reported for students at independent schools; in this case ethnicity is recorded as unknown.

Chinese students attained the highest average points score (APS) across all level 3 cohorts in 2022/23 

At A level, Chinese students’ APS was at least 5 points higher than all other major ethnicity groups, which equates to half a grade. Black or Black British students’ APS was over 2 points lower than that of any other major ethnicity groups, and just over 9 points lower than that of Chinese students.  The remaining major ethnicities had broadly similar attainment between these two extremes.

The rank order of attainment by ethnicity has remained almost unchanged at A level through the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes to the grading processes.

The proportion of disadvantaged students varies greatly across the major ethnicity groups

At A level, 11.5% of Chinese students, 10.0% of white students, 21.8% of Mixed Dual background students, 20.8% of Asian or Asian British students, 34.5% of ‘any other ethnic group’ students, and 36.9% of Black or Black British students, had disadvantage status. The proportion of disadvantaged students will impact on each ethnic groups' overall APS.

The disadvantage gap is largest for students from the white ethnic group

At A level, non-disadvantaged students attained a higher APS than disadvantaged students across all major ethnicity groups. The disadvantaged gap is largest for students from the white ethnic group (5.4 pts) and smallest for students from the Black or Black British ethnic group (2.2 pts). With the exception of the Chinese ethnic group, disadvantaged students of any ethnicity had lower APS than non-disadvantaged students in all ethnic groups.

For vocational and technical qualifications at level 3, the disadvantage gap is also largest for the white ethnic group (3.1 pts at applied general, 3.3 pts at tech level).

Attainment by Key Stage 4 prior attainment

The higher the average Key Stage 4 (KS4) prior attainment, the higher the average outcome at the end of 16 to 18 study, regardless of the programme of study. 

The attainment gap between students with the highest and lowest prior attainment has remained stable throughout different grading processes since 2019/20 (from when this prior attainment data is available). The attainment gap at A level is around 25 pts (or 2.5 grades) and at applied general and tech level is around 19 pts (or just under 2 grades).

Note that the number of students in each cohort from each prior attainment band varies between cohorts. At A level, 40.4%, 55.8% and 1.4% of students had a prior attainment of 7+, 4 to 7 and 0 to 4, respectively. By contrast, in the applied general cohort, 7.2%, 77.4% and 13.7% of students had a prior attainment of 7+, 4 to 7 and 0 to 4, respectively. This means that differences in overall APS between cohorts may be attributed in part to the prior attainment composition of their cohorts.

Attainment by other student characteristics

Breakdowns of other student characteristics (SEN provision, primary SEN, first language, free school meals status, further ethnicity breakdowns), including these broken down further by disadvantage status, are available in the create your own tables sections of this statistical release: Create your own tables, Table Tool – Explore education statistics – GOV.UK (explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk)

Entries and pass rates in English and maths qualifications below level 3

This section replaces one that usually describes outcomes in the English and maths progress accountability measures. These are not being created from 2021/22 to 2023/24 in Compare School and College Performance Data due to the impact of excluding CAG and TAG grades on this measure (set out in more detail in the 16 to 18 accountability measures: technical guide).

These alternative data on entries and pass rates in English and maths qualifications below level 3 have been published as part of this statistical release since 2015/16. They cover all entries and outcomes in below level 3 English and maths qualifications for students aged 16 to 18 at the start of the respective year. For these entries data, a student can be reported in successive years, for example at age 16 in 2019/20, at age 17 in 2020/21, and at age 18 in 2021/22 if they entered exams in each year. 

The number of students entering below level 3 English and maths qualifications has risen

Most students aged 16 to 18 enter below level 3 English and maths qualifications because they did not achieve a GCSE pass at grade 9-4 or equivalent during key stage 4, and so are required to continue to study those subjects under Condition of Funding rules (CoF).

In 2022/23 there was an overall rise in the number of below level 3 entries across both English and maths compared with 2021/22. This follows the return of the summer exam series in 2021/22 and a drop in the proportion of pupils achieving grades 4 or above in English and maths GCSE during key stage 4 (decreasing from 67.1% in 2020/21 to 64.4% in 2021/22). This meant more students were required to study English and/or maths under the CoF during the 16-18 phase.

The proportion of below level 3 English and maths entries which are GCSEs has increased since 2018/19 (from 79.4% to 85.1% in English and from 72.2% to 81.1% in maths). This increase appears to be at the expense of entry level, other level 1 qualifications, and other level 2 qualifications. This may be related to the drop in the percentage of the below level 3 cohort that are in the prior attainment band 0 to <4 (from 78.6% in 2019/20 to 73.3% in 2022/23 for English and from 74.3% to 67.1% for maths), although with the caveat that prior attainment includes all KS4 subjects, not just English and maths.

There are more entries at GCSE than level 2 Functional Skills

Many more age 16-18 students enter GCSEs (a level 1/level 2 qualification) than are entered for Functional Skills (the main alternative, with distinct qualifications at level 2, level 1 and Entry level). This is despite level 2 Functional Skills being a pathway out of the CoF for students with a GCSE grade 2 or below. However, assessment is different for Functional Skills, where each ‘entry’ possibly reflects multiple assessment attempts.

The pass rate for level 2 Functional Skills remains consistently higher compared to the pass rate for GCSE (grades 9-4) across all prior attainment bands. The pass rates across GCSEs and Functional Skills in 2022/23 has stabilised following the fall in pass rates between 2020/21 and 2021/22. The biggest increase compared with 2021/22 was in English level 2 Functional Skills (+4.4ppts). The GCSE 9-4 pass rate for English continues to be around 8 to 10ppts higher than for maths GCSE 9-4. The pass rate for level 2 Functional Skills English and maths continue to diverge having been almost identical in 2018/19; the pass rate for English is now 21.6ppts higher than for maths.

Disadvantaged students have lower pass rates across GCSE and Functional Skills qualifications

Disadvantaged students are more likely to be in the below level 3 cohort compared with non-disadvantaged students. Disadvantaged students are overrepresented in the below level 3 cohorts, making up 36% of entries despite being only 23.4% of the population of students at the end of 16 to 18 study.

The pass rate at both GCSE and Functional Skills at level 2 and level 1 are consistently lower for disadvantaged compared with non-disadvantaged students. The greatest difference is in maths level 2 Functional Skills where the non-disadvantaged pass rate is 14.2ppts higher than the disadvantaged pass rate.

Most entries in below level 3 English and maths are in ‘Other FE sector colleges’ 

Most entries in below level 3 English and maths qualifications are at ‘Other FE sector colleges’. For context, the number of students at the end of 16-18 study in ‘Other FE sector colleges’ is comparable to the number in all state-funded schools.

‘Other FE sector colleges’ have lower pass rates for GCSE 9-4 and higher pass rates for level 2 Functional Skills

‘Other FE sector’ colleges have the lowest pass rate for GCSE 9-4 in both English and maths whereas independent schools again had the highest pass rate. However, ‘Other FE sector’ colleges did have the highest pass rate in English and maths level 2 Functional Skills compared with the other major institution types. Most entries in level 2 Functional Skills are in ‘Other FE sector’ colleges.

Time-series: APS per entry and A level subject entries and results

These data are available through the ‘Explore data and files used in this release’ section in the files called ‘Time series – APS entry by institution type’ and ‘Time series – A level subject entries and grade by gender’.

In addition, all the data is accessible through the dashboard linked below. The dashboard combines revised data for 2022/23 from this statistical release with selected historical data compiled from previous versions of the ‘A level and other 16 to 18 results’ statistical release:

16-18 Time-series attainment and single year entries        

KS5 Transition Matrices

These data are available through the dashboard 16-18 Transition Matrices and in the ‘Additional supporting files' section of this release, along with instructions for their use.

Transition matrices (TM) are a useful tool to help visualise the progression from different groups of attainment at key stage 4 (KS4) to outcomes achieved during 16 to 18 for a range of different subjects. 

Note that the relationship between 16 to 18 outcomes and KS4 prior attainment is likely to have been impacted by the different process to award grades in 2021 and 2022.

Attainment in Multi-academy trusts

This section focuses on the attainment and progress of pupils who attended schools that were in multi-academy trusts (MATs) in England. Following a review of last year’s release, this section (and the equivalent in the Key stage 2 attainment and Key stage 4 performance statistical releases) replace the standalone release on attainment in MATs. We would welcome any feedback on how we can best present national data on the academies sector in future, or an any other aspect of this release at Attainment.STATISTICS@education.gov.uk.

Background 

Multi-academy trusts (MATs) can comprise converter academies, sponsored academies, free schools, studio schools, and/or university technical colleges (UTCs): 

  • Converter academies  are largely high performing schools that have chosen to convert to academy status.  
  • Sponsored academies  were deemed by the Department for Education to be under-performing and were required to join a trust to improve their performance.  
  • Free schools, studio schools and UTCs  are brand new academies with no predecessor school. Studio schools and UTCs typically start educating pupils at age 14, and provide a specialist technical and professional education.  

Due to the different historic performance of schools that become sponsored or converter academies and those which remain LA maintained, simple comparisons between the whole MAT sector and other state-funded schools and colleges will not be meaningful and are not made in this publication.   

Further, caution should be taken when comparing national MAT statistics across years as the composition of the academies and MATs included continues to vary, as the sector matures. 

The measures cover state-funded mainstream schools and colleges within MATs only. Special schools, pupil referral units, alternative provision academies and alternative provision free schools are not included. 

Eligibility Criteria   

In MAT performance tables data, accountability measures are only produced at 16 to 18 for MATs:  

  • that have at least three academies, with results at 16 to 18 in a particular cohort, and  
  • where those academies have been with the MAT for at least three academic years (defined as having joined that MAT before 14 September 2020 for the academic year 2022/23).    

We do this so that we include data at MAT level for MATs that are sufficiently well established to have had time to a) have an impact on the performance of schools within the MAT and b) so that aggregate data tells you more than the individual institution data would.

Performance tables data for eligible MATs can be found here at the Compare school and college performance website.  

The commentary in this section focuses on pupils in academies that meet the eligibility criteria, as this is the accountability measure for MATs; but figures are also provided for those in all other academies in MATs, as well as an all academies in MATs total, for wider context.   

Users need to exercise caution when considering comparisons over time. This is due to the changes in approach to grading between 2022 and 2023. It is expected that performance in 2023 will generally be lower than in 2022. In 2022 outcomes broadly reflected a mid-point midpoint between 2019 and 2021, to take account of the impact of the pandemic and in line with Ofqual’s approach to grading in 2022.

National performance in MATs 

The data below shows that for academies meeting the eligibility criteria: 

  • For students in the academic cohort, the average point score (APS) was higher in converter academies compared to sponsored academies. This is as would be expected given the difference in their historic performance prior to becoming academies.   
     
  • Free Schools had the highest attainment. Studio schools and UTCs had the lowest attainment. However, the number of students in Studio Schools and UTCs are low.   
     
  • For students in the applied general cohort, converter academies and sponsored academies have around the same average point score. 
     
  • Free Schools again had the highest attainment. Studio schools continued to have lower attainment, yet UTCs had higher scores comparable with converter academies. Again, the number of students in Studio Schools and UTCs are low.   
     
  • For students in the academic cohort, academies not meeting the eligibility criteria tended to have higher average point scores than those in eligible academies. This is to be expected because a greater proportion of academies meeting the eligibility criteria are sponsored academies.   
     
  • Students in the applied general cohort had similar scores regardless of performance table eligibility. Again, this is to be expected given that for the applied general cohort, the average point score was similar between converter and sponsored academies. This is to be expected given that for the applied general cohort, the average point score was similar between converter and sponsored academies.

Help and support

Methodology

Find out how and why we collect, process and publish these statistics.

National statistics

These accredited official statistics have been independently reviewed by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR). They comply with the standards of trustworthiness, quality and value in the Code of Practice for Statistics. Accredited official statistics are called National Statistics in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.

Accreditation signifies their compliance with the authority's Code of Practice for Statistics which broadly means these statistics are:

  • managed impartially and objectively in the public interest
  • meet identified user needs
  • produced according to sound methods
  • well explained and readily accessible

Our statistical practice is regulated by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR).

OSR sets the standards of trustworthiness, quality and value in the Code of Practice for Statistics that all producers of official statistics should adhere to.

You are welcome to contact us directly with any comments about how we meet these standards. Alternatively, you can contact OSR by emailing regulation@statistics.gov.uk or via the OSR website.

Contact us

If you have a specific enquiry about A level and other 16 to 18 results statistics and data:

Attainment statistics team

Email: Attainment.STATISTICS@education.gov.uk
Contact name: Michael Greer

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