Updated benchmarks for KS4 results 2017 Alps briefing papers - view all

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KS4 input scores

For our KS4 reports Alps uses the KS2 scores as the baseline for value added scores.

In 2011 and previously the KS2 scores of students were calculated as a combination of each students’ reading, writing and maths scores.

In 2012 KS2 writing test results were removed from the calculation of KS2 fine scores. From 2012 onward, the KS2 scores are a combination of just reading and maths scores.

We create our benchmarks using the full national data set that we receive from the Department for Education each year.

To ensure that the benchmark used for 2017 results is appropriate for this cohort of students, the KS2 baseline for students in our 2017 benchmarks excludes writing and is a combination of just reading and maths scores.

KS4 output scores

In Summer 2017, the first cohort of students will be receiving numeric 9-1 grades in reformed GCSE subjects – English and maths. This cohort will therefore have a mixture of reformed and unreformed grades, with most results being under the unreformed A*-G structure.

We have decided to adopt the transitional points scores in our KS4 report, below is a table showing the transitional points
for unreformed GCSEs.


2017 updated benchmarks and Minimum Expected Grades (MEGs)

The tables following show the updated 2017 benchmarks and MEGs for KS4 that will b eused in your 2017 KS4 report.

1. National data. The Alps thermometers, minimum expected grades and benchmarks are created from the full Department for Education national dataset.

2. Banded Performance (Table 4). It is difficult to compare the 2016 outcomes to those established in previous years since we have run the latest benchmarks modelled on transitional scores. However, what became clear to our analysts when we were summarising the stories within the data, was the stability that remained in the system despite the changes in curriculum structures and specifications. This may be due to the comparable
outcomes agenda that exam boards commit to.

3. The subject thermometers. Our subject thermometers are difficult to compare for the same reason given above, but there are some interesting trends. The number of subjects with entries large enough to give us a reliable benchmark has fallen due to the GCSE Double Awards absence, the number of entries for mathematics and English fell possibly because of the reduction in early entry in Y10, the number of entries for modern foreign languages fell, although there was an increase in some EBacc subjects such as geography and history.

4. Entries for iGCSE English significantly outweighed those in iGCSE mathematics.

5. There were also reductions in the numbers of young people studying certain BTEC Firsts – e.g. in sport, business and health and social care.


In the Alps KS4 report we use KS2 fine grades as our baseline. We compare KS4 results to the KS2 baseline to measure progress. Each KS2 band has a minimum expected grade. The tables below show each KS2 band along with the minimum expected grades and points for GCSE, BTEC and Cambridge Level 1/2 National subjects. The minimum expected grades are set at the 75th percentile of the Alps benchmark, based on the full national dataset from the DfE.

146 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