23rd June 2017
1. The Alps benchmarks are created from the results in the full Department for Education national dataset. The table (Table 1) above does not include general studies; Table 2 includes more qualifications, for interest, and gives the individual thermometers for each AS level subject.
2. During the past two years, there has been significant turbulence in post-16 curriculum structures, particularly at A and AS level. This short paper looks at changes there have been in AS level outcomes in the dataset from Summer 2016 outcomes (which will form the basis for the indicators in the 2017 report suite) compared to outcomes from the previous benchmark,
which was established from the 2013 dataset.
3. Table 1: There has been very little movement in the outcomes at the 75th percentile when considering points per subject over this three-year period. For example, in the band 7.5-8.0 the outcome in 2013 was 57.61 points per entry, compared to 56.97 in the 2016 dataset, a fall of just 0.1%. If we ignore the lowest band, where numbers are small, the largest reduction is still by less than 1%.
4. This stability of outcomes has been evident since the introduction of curriculum 2000 and confirms the ambition of Ofqual that there are ‘comparable outcomes’ from one year to the next. It is for this reason we are always nervous at Alps when colleagues say to us that ‘there is bound to be a fall in outcomes since the exams are harder/longer/different etc.’ When the evidence is available, it often tells a different story.
5. Table 2: The individual AS level subject thermometers tell a similar story – that there has been little change. For example,
the value-added score for English literature at the 75th percentile in 2013 was 1.07, and in 2016, it was again 1.07; in chemistry 0.89 and 0.87; in media studies 1.20 and again 1.20; and in German 0.99 and 1.00.
84 subjects are listed. Subjects not included are missing because the number of sets of data was too small to be reliable. 0.20 difference represents one grade difference per entry in comparing sets.
6. Table 3: Given that there has been so little movement in outcomes, the Alps Minimum Expected Grades (MEGs) in the 2017 AS level report suite are the same as in previous years.
7. Remember that these will be the subject scores, the subject thermometers and the MEGs used in the 2017 Alps reports.
We are also publishing a separate paper with the Minimum Expected Grades for 2017 starters. The calculation of these students’ average GCSE score will include the mixture of grades 9 to 1 and A* to G. See our website www.alps-va.co.uk.
The benchmarks for the BTEC 2017 reports are not being updated as they were updated last year for the 2016 reports.
We remain happy to help any school, academy, college or LA to implement Alps systems using our highly qualified and experienced trainers, all of whom have been or are in senior positions in top performing schools and colleges.
We are at the end of the telephone Monday to Friday 9am-5pm – 01484 887600 or you can email us at email@example.com.
Please visit our website for more information at www.alps-va.co.uk