Starting next year, schools will no longer be judged purely on GCSE results. Head teachers are welcoming the news, as it means that their schools will now be measured on a broader range of results across eight subjects.
The government has worked to improve the standards of schools in recent years, an initiative that has been deemed successful. The number of schools in England falling below the current floor standard has remained stable at 312.
Secondary schools are considered to be underperforming if fewer than 40 per cent of pupils get five GCSEs at grade A*-C, including English and maths, and if the school has a below average score for pupils' progress.
Last year there was a small rise in the percentage of pupils gaining five good GCSEs, including English and maths, to 57.1 per cent - up from 56.6 per cent in 2014.
Head teachers have often stated that measuring success on the basis of GCSE results alone is unfair, as it does not take into account the intake of the school. However, ministers have maintained that parents want and need simple and easy-to-digest information about a school's performance.
From next year, schools in England will be measured on what is known as Progress 8. Progress 8 will replace the five or more good GCSEs, including maths and English, benchmark as the key measure for all secondary schools. It will measure the progress that pupils make between Key Stage 2 tests taken at the end of primary school, and their performance in a specified mixture of eight subjects at the end of secondary school. Schools will be given a score based on how their pupils have progressed compared to the national average.
Posted by Alan Douglas