Thursday, September 13, 2007

Greenwich Time's take on the exam results

Well the council haven't managed to shift the sofa from the road or offer easy to get hold of cheap tickets for the King tut exhibition but they have been hard at it and got another issue of Greenwich Time out.

I'm sure there's a few great Greenwich Councilisms in there but what jumped out right away where the exam results that they published.

For the A-Levels they give an average for "Greenwich Borough", one for "National" and a row that compares Greenwich to that national.

Basically on A-Levels Greenwich did OK. The A to E pass rate is above the national average and has gone up this year compared to last. The more important A to C pass rate went up but only by less than half of the rise experienced nationally. The result of that being that we were 6.8% below the national average but we're now 7.7% below.

All told not bad though.

The GSCS results are printed a bit differently. There's no "National" row and no simple +/- figure for how far above or below that average we are. What there is, rather confusingly, is a row labelled "LA Average". I'm taking that to mean "Local Authority Average" and it seems to calculate out.

So why so open with the A Level results and so weasely with the GCSE ones?

Could it be to do with the big "Star Pupils" headline boast? Lot's of talk about how great Greenwich is doing compared to last year. They're quite proud to say that the increase in A to C grades was 3.7%, 6 times the national average.

However what they won't do is talk about how the grades themselves, not the increase, compare to the national average.

So how did we really do?

Well that doesn't seem to be a simple question. I can't seem to find a simple figure for the national average of kids getting 5 A to C grades. What I can find is the tougher average of those kids getting 5 A to Cs including English and maths, that's the standard Government measure now.

Greenwich Time doesn't use that measure, the measure that you'll see printed just about everywhere else. So why's that then? Why not use the the apparently standard measure? Why not let us easily see how we compare to the rest of the country? Is everything not quite so rosy if you do?

I've have found the official results for Greenwich, it's here.

The National Average for kids getting 5 A to Cs including English and Maths is 45.8%.

The Greenwich Average is 31.4% (see that here).

Looking back and comparing Greenwich Results with the national average also shows up a few interesting things.

2006: National 45.3%, Greenwich 31.3%
2005: National 44.3%, Greenwich 34%
2004: National 42.6%, Greenwich 29.5%
2003: National 41.9%, Greenwich 26.2%

So yes Greenwich is getting better compared to 2003 but we're way below average, not that you'd know it from the figures the council give you.

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