2020's GCSE and A-level exam results have been added to the 2019 league tables
What happened with 2020's exam results?
Having dabbled with algorithms and courted uproar, the government eventually relented and just used Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) to award grades for A levels and GCSEs. CAGs are essentially teacher recommendations, based on what grades they expected students to achieve.
It has been noted that this method led to significant grade-inflation in a lot of private schools. If you take a glance at our co-ed boarding school league table, for example, you will find that some schools recorded an increase of 20%+ in students attaining A*- A grades at A-level.
We have been publishing these league tables for over fifteen years and would expect an individual school's exam results to present only modest fluctuations from one year to the next. 2020's grade inflation is, to use one of 2020's most over-used words, unprecedented.
So how can we interpret these results?
If you download or request our eGuide on How to Choose a Boarding School, you will find further details on why you should always exercise caution and restraint when using league tables to identify the most suitable schools for your child. Some of the eyebrow-raising results from 2020 have only reaffirmed our opinion on this.
Moreover, we believe 2020's results to be too unreliable and, essentially, unfair, to warrant us publishing a new set of league tables.
As a result, we have decided to publish 2020's results, but to not adjust the league table positions. Schools' positions in the GCSE and A-level tables remain derived from their 2019 results, with 2020's results published in the far right-hand column. The IB Diploma table for 2020 has been updated, as these did not present such noticeable grade inflation. You can also find Global and EU IB Diploma league tables on our ib-schools.com site.
And what of 2021's exam results?
With exams cancelled, we are still waiting to see confirmed plans on how students will be assessed. We will make a decision on how we publish results once we have had time to scrutinise, interpret, and sense-check them.
Until pure, unadulterated public examinations are back in use, we shall do our utmost to ensure the integrity of our league tables, and the information we provide to the visitors of best-schools.co.uk
As always, we are on hand should you wish to contact us for expert and impartial advice on choosing the best private schools for your child or children.