GCSEs 2015: Third of private school entries awarded top A* grade

The Press Association (via BT News) is reporting that almost a third of GCSE entries from private school pupils were awarded the top A* grade this year.

…Figures published by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) for 560 of their member schools show that 32.9% of exam entries – GCSE and IGCSE combined – were awarded an A* grade this year, up marginally from 32.7% last year.

This is around three times as many as the national average.

Overall, a typical teenager attending a private school scored the equivalent of two A* grades and seven As, the ISC calculated.

The figures also show that 446 of the council’s member schools had pupils taking at least one IGCSE this year, while three only took these qualifications.

In total, around four in 10 exam entries (43.3%) were for IGCSE this year. This is up 12.3% on last year.

In 2010, just 11.1% of exam entries for Year 11 pupils were for IGCSE, the ISC said.

More at: GCSEs 2015: Third of private school entries awarded top grade


So despite recent analysis suggesting state schools are giving private schools a run for their money, do these kind of grade breakdowns show where the real differences lie? 

Just under 33% of all entries getting an A* is another amazing result for the independent sector, but what do you make of the significantly increased entries for IGCSEs (not to mention the practice in some cases of entering students for the same subject at GCSE and IGCSE)?

Please share your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…


Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link

Today's poll: Is it time for a blanket ban on student mobiles during the school day?
Shortening the school week to 4 days has a 'significantly positive impact on student academic performance', say US researchers
Categories: Private Schools and Secondary.


  1. Now there’s a surprise!  Pupils at highly selective independent schools gain more A* grades than the national average of all schools.  A fairer comparison would be with selective state schools.

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove It’s what people are paying for so indie schools must deliver. The iGCSE thing is a govt myth in my view – just as rigorous

  3. andylutwyche

    cyprusboro SchoolsImprove Agreed – just as rigorous but DfE ministers can’t control it so they’ve decided to bad mouth it instead

  4. helenreesbidder

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Masses of maintained school students also did IGCSE this year anyway. I agree just as rigorous.

  5. helenreesbidder

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove They use IGCSE to discredit GCSE then ban IGCSE to ensure that schools have to do their ‘reformed’ GCSEs.

  6. andylutwyche

    helenreesbidder SchoolsImprove Quite – very divisive but not surprising in any way; this seems to be how most modern politician work

  7. lennyvalentino

    andylutwyche helenreesbidder SchoolsImprove And yet the rhetoric is all about achieving the same as private schools. Gap is widening..

  8. andylutwyche

    lennyvalentino helenreesbidder SchoolsImprove Indeed – but the gap will never be totally eradicated; DfE foolish to expect otherwise

  9. PrincesBold

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Amusing that the press don’t understand what’s happening to independent school results this year.

  10. andylutwyche

    PrincesBold SchoolsImprove Media are getting lazier in my view and just swallowing what DfE giving them rather than seeking full picture

  11. helenreesbidder

    andylutwyche lennyvalentino SchoolsImprove They know that can never happen anyway. They ensure it can never happen.

  12. andylutwyche

    helenreesbidder lennyvalentino SchoolsImprove Indeed yet the media lap up the rhetoric from DfE; media just as culpable as politicians

  13. lennyvalentino

    helenreesbidder andylutwyche SchoolsImprove I’d hope schools would be braver and choose IGCSE’s if they felt they were more stable.

  14. andylutwyche

    lennyvalentino helenreesbidder SchoolsImprove League tables very important to schools in Ofsted & DfE eyes so schools have little choice

  15. helenreesbidder

    lennyvalentino andylutwyche SchoolsImprove I hoped academy groups would stick with IGCSE. Safety in numbers etc but they haven’t.

  16. andylutwyche

    helenreesbidder lennyvalentino SchoolsImprove Where do they get their funding from? DfE unashamedly putting pressure on

  17. helenreesbidder

    lennyvalentino andylutwyche SchoolsImprove It’s absurd that the ofqual accredited reformed IGCSEs aren’t on league tables either though.

  18. helenreesbidder

    lennyvalentino andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Schools are funded for the reformed IGCSEs but won’t count in league tables still.

  19. helenreesbidder

    andylutwyche lennyvalentino SchoolsImprove It’s political and corrupt. Playing with children’s futures.

Let us know what you think...