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School Life

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Introduction

As at January 2021, there were 33 Primary Schools, eight Secondary Schools (two 'all-through schools' are included in both the primary and secondary numbers given), and four Special Schools in Blackpool. Blackpool and the Fylde College, Blackpool Sixth Form College, and St. Mary's Catholic Academy Sixth Form are the post-16 education providers within the authority.

17 primary schools in Blackpool are academies, together with one (primary) free school. There are 14 primary schools maintained by the local authority together with two Special Schools. Two Special School are academies. 

All secondary schools are academies. Of the two all-through schools (offering provision across primary and secondary), one is an academy and the other a free school.

Figures from the January 2021 School Census show a school population of 19,515 pupils, 11,608 of whom are on roll within a primary school, and 7,219 attend a secondary school in Blackpool. There are 546 pupils attending Special Schools.

The majority of Blackpool's primary schools are judged by Ofsted to be good, with two outstanding. Four secondary schools have been judged as good, though three are identified as requiring improvement (one secondary / all-through school has not yet been inspected). This is, however, an overall improvement from 2017 when only one secondary school received an Ofsted assessment of 'good'.

Data shows the proportion of primary pupils reaching the expected standard at key stage 2 in Blackpool is around that of the national average, however, secondary school attainment falls behind the national average significantly and the rate of progress made by pupils is one of the lowest in the country.1  

Definitions of School Types

Academy schools are state-funded schools in England which are directly funded by the Department for Education and independent of local authority control.

Free schools are set up by an organisation or a group of individuals, funded by the government but not controlled by the local authority.

Local Authority maintained schools are overseen, or 'maintained', by the Local Authority.

Special Schools cater for children with special needs.

For further information please see the New Schools Network brief.

Facts and Figures

Covid Impact - Note

The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on both schools and school data, particularly in the academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21, with school closures, absences and cancelled or adjusted assessments. As a consequence, many education statistics releases for this period have either been cancelled, or are not comparable to previous years.

Deprivation Factors in Blackpool

Blackpool is an area of high deprivation with significant proportions of children coming from backgrounds that suffer from one or more types of deprivation. In Figure 1 the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 (IMD 2019) has been used to estimate the level of disadvantage of the Blackpool school population. 

Figure 1 - Proportion of Children who live in the 10% Most Deprived Neighbourhoods Attending Blackpool Primary and Secondary Schools

 2022 IMD Children 201820

Source: Mid-year populations estimated 2018-2020 (age 4-10s and 11-15s) and IMD 2019
 
Based on 2020 population estimates 46% of both primary and secondary school pupils live in the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in England, compared to 41% of the overall Blackpool population. The proportion of secondary pupils living in the most deprived areas has increased due to estimated population growth, whilst primary school deprivation proportions have fallen slightly. Levels of deprivation are higher than previous calculations made using 2015 IMD data due to the inclusion of a further three Blackpool areas (LSOAs) within the 10% most deprived group.

The Pupil Premium

The Pupil Premium is additional funding available for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers.

Pupil premium funding is available to:

    • local authority maintained schools, including special schools and pupil referral units (PRUs)
    • voluntary-sector alternative provision (AP), with local authority agreement
    • special schools not maintained by the local authority (NMSS)
    • academies and free schools, including special and AP academies

The Pupil Premium funding for Blackpool schools in 2021/22 was significantly above the national average (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Percentage of pupils eligible for Pupil Premium in 2021/22

 2022 pupil premium

Source: Education and Skills Funding Agency, Pupil premium: allocations and conditions of grant 2021 to 2022

Blackpool ranks as the 7th highest proportion of pupil premium eligible pupils in primary education in England and 6th highest for secondary education in England (out of 152 local authorities). Within the NW region (23 local authorities) Blackpool has the 3rd highest percentage of eligible pupils in primary education and the second highest proportion of eligible pupils in secondary education.

Characteristics that Influence School Life

Looked after children - Blackpool has the highest rate of looked after children in England with a rate of 210 children per 10,0002   (as of 31st March 2021). Children who have been looked after by local authorities tend to be disproportionately represented in groups of people experiencing problems in life.

Exclusions - Children who are excluded from schools will be at a disadvantage and in Blackpool in 2019/20 there were 199 (1.7%) fixed period exclusions from primary schools and 1,099 (15.6%) fixed period exclusions from secondary schools.3

A range of other factors appear to affect the achievement of children in Blackpool schools. Children who are born in the summer tend to be at a disadvantage, those with special educational needs may be less successful (depending on their needs) and pupils who do not attend school regularly tend not to do as well as those who do.

School Achievement: Primary School

Primary school achievement is measured at several points during a child's primary education.

School Readiness

School readiness is a key measure of early years development across a wide range of developmental areas and is assessed when children are aged 5 at the end of their reception year.  Children are defined as having reached a good level of development if they achieve at least the expected level in the early learning goals in the prime areas of learning (personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language) and the early learning goals in the specific areas of mathematics (numbers) and literacy (reading, writing). Children from poorer backgrounds are at greater risk of poorer development and evidence shows that differences by social background emerge early in life. Figure 3 shows that although Blackpool's school readiness figure is improving, up from 52% in 2012/13 to 68% in 2018/19, it remains lower than both national (72%) and North West (68%) rates.

Note: Due to Covid-19 statistical releases for Early Years Foundation Stage data were cancelled for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 periods.

Figure 3: Trend in school readiness: children achieving a good level of development at the end of reception - Blackpool, North West and England

2022 School Readiness to 201819

Source: PHE, Child and Maternal Health Profile, School age children

The three specific early learning goals of numbers, reading and writing are the areas where the highest proportions of children who live in Blackpool do not reach the expected level of development.  This is particularly important, as a child must reach the expected level of development in all three of these areas to be classed as achieving the expected level of development overall, and as such, be school ready.  There is a gap across all indicators between the proportion of males reaching an expected level of development and the proportion of females (Figure 4). Females are 9.7% ahead of males in writing, 7.9% ahead in reading and 3.7% ahead in numbers. Similar gender variations are also observed at a national level, with differences being greater in some indicators (though national proportions are also higher than Blackpool for both males and females across all indicators).

Figure 4: Eary Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) indicators - Blackpool 2019

 2022 EYFS attainment by gender

Source: Department for Education, Early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) results: 2018 to 2019

The three specific early learning goals of numbers, reading and writing are also highlighted as areas of concern when attainment across all of the indicators is compared between Blackpool and England.  These three indicators are among the six indicators with the biggest percentage point gap between Blackpool and England (Figure 5).  Progress in Blackpool has been made in recent years in mathematics and literacy, with an increase in the proportion of children reaching the expected level of development in reading and writing from 60.4% in 2013 to 67.5% in 2019, and in mathematics (numbers, and shape, space and measures) from 64.5% to 73.6% over the same period.

Figure 5: Percentage point gap between Blackpool and England, 2019

2022 EYFS attainment gap Bpool Eng

Source: Department for Education, Early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) results: 2018 to 2019

Phonics Check

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:

    • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
    • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as 'sh' or 'oo'; and
    • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to 'de-code' new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. A check on the progress children are making in phonics is carried out in year 1 (age 6), and repeated the following year for those who did not meet the standard or were not previously checked. While progress has been made in both Blackpool and England since 2012, there is still a wide gap in achievement between boys and girls (Figure 6). 

 Figure 6: Percentage of children achieving the required standard of phonics decoding, 2012 - 2019

2022 Phonics

Source:Department for Education, Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2019

Key Stage 1 Teacher Assessments

Key Stage 1 (KS1) covers the ages five to seven (Years 1 and 2 of Primary education) and the end of KS1 assessments cover progress made by children. In September 2014 the primary school curriculum changed with the main aim of raising standards and although the new curriculum is intended to be more challenging, the content is actually slimmer than the previous curriculum, focusing on essential core subject knowledge and skills such as essay writing and computer programming.

Pupils were assessed against the new curriculum for the first time in 2016 and results are no longer reported as levels, but as 'reaching expected standard' and 'working at a greater depth'. Because of these assessment changes, figures for 2016 onwards are not comparable to earlier years. Assessments are carried out in: Reading, Writing, Maths and Science (there is no 'greater depth' assessment for Science).

As Figures 7 to 10 show, the proportion of Blackpool pupils reaching the expected standard across subject areas has tended to be slightly lower than national levels, though 2018 and 2019 saw gaps widening due to reducing proportions of children in Blackpool achieving the standards.

Figure 7: Percentage of children achieving the expected standard and reaching the higher standard in Key Stage 1 READING assessments, 2016 to 2019

2022 KS1 Reading

Source: DfE, Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2016 to 2019 data

Figure 8: Percentage of children achieving the expected standard and reaching the higher standard in Key Stage 1 WRITING assessments, 2016 to 2019

2022 KS1 Writing

Source: DfE, Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2016 to 2019 data

Figure 9: Percentage of children achieving the expected standard and reaching the higher standard in Key Stage 1 MATHEMATICS assessments, 2016 to 2019

2022 KS1 Mathematics
Source: DfE, Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2016 to 2019 data

Figure 10: Percentage of children achieving the expected standard in Key Stage 1 SCIENCE assessments, 2016 to 2019

2022 KS1 Science
Source: DfE, Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2016 to 2019 data

Key Stage 1 Achievement by Characteristic

At KS1 more girls reach the expected standard than boys in all subjects (Figure 11). Across Blackpool, the subject with the largest difference in attainment by gender is writing, with a gap of 14 percentage points between girls (72%) and boys (58%). The attainment gap is 4 percentage points in reading, with 75% of girls and 71% of boys reaching the standard; 3 percentage points for maths, with 73% of girls and 70% of boys reaching the standard; and 5 percentage points for science, with 81% of girls and 76% of boys reaching the standard. Gender gaps in reading, writing and mathematics appear to have narrowed since 2017, however, changes to teacher assessment frameworks mean that data is not directly comparable.

Figure 11: Attainment gaps by gender in pupils reaching the expected standard in KS1 teacher assessments, Blackpool, 2019

2022 KS1 gender gaps

Source: DfE, Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2019

Measuring whether different groups of children achieve the expected amount of progress at KS1 reveals that various kinds of disadvantage negatively affect progress at KS1. The effects are not as strong as those seen later in a child's school career at GCSE (KS4) stage, though the assessments are different in nature.

Note: Proportions for Black and Chinese pupils in Blackpool are not included due to low eligibility numbers.

Figure 12: Percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in KS1 READING assessments by characteristic of child, Blackpool, 2019

 2022 KS1 char Reading

Source: DfE, Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2019

Figure 13: Percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in KS1 WRITING assessments by characteristic of child, Blackpool, 2019

 2022 KS1 char Writing

Source: DfE, Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2019

Figure 14: Percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in KS1 MATHS assessments by characteristic of child, Blackpool, 2019

 2022 KS1 char Maths

Source: DfE, Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2019

Figure 15: Percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in KS1 SCIENCE assessments by characteristic of child, Blackpool, 2019

 2022 KS1 char Sci

Source: DfE, Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2019

Key Stage 2 Testing and Teacher Assessments

Children are again assessed at age 11 in year 6 of Primary School. The 2016 Key Stage 2 (KS2) tests and assessments were the first to assess the new, more challenging national curriculum which was introduced in 2014. Pupils are assessed by national curriculum tests in reading, maths and grammar, punctuation and spelling. They also receive a teacher assessment outcome in writing, science, reading and maths based on the standards in the teacher assessment frameworks at the end of key stage 2.

Data for 2019 shows that, overall, 67% of children in Blackpool attained the expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths, above the national average of 65%. 

At individual subject level, the proportion of children reaching the expected standard in Blackpool at KS2 has improved from 2016  in the reading, maths, and grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) tests and is now the same as or exceeds national averages (Figures 16 to 19).

Figure 16: Percentage of children achieving the expected standard and higher scores in Key Stage 2 READING Tests, 2016 to 2019

 2022 KS2 Reading

Source: DfE, National curriculum assessments at key stage 2, England 2016 to 2019 data

Figure 17: Percentage of children achieving the expected standard and higher scores in Key Stage 2 MATHEMATICS Tests, 2016 to 2019

 2022 KS2 Maths

Source: DfE, National curriculum assessments at key stage 2, England 2016 to 2019 data

Figure 18: Percentage of children achieving the expected standard and higher scores in Key Stage 2  GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION AND SPELLING Tests, 2016 to 2019

 2022 KS2 GPS
Source: DfE, National curriculum assessments at key stage 2, England 2016 to 2019 data

Figure 19: Percentage of children achieving the expected standard (and working at a greater depth in writing) in Key Stage 2: Teacher Assessments, 2019

 2022 KS2 TAs

Source: DfE, National curriculum assessments at key stage 2, England 2019. Note: Reading and Mathematics teacher assessments were removed for 2018/19 to remove assessment burdens.

Key Stage 2 Achievement by Characteristic

As in previous years, girls on average do better than boys in reading, writing and maths combined. In 2019, 72% of girls in Blackpool achieved the expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths compared to 61% of boys. This is a gap of 11 percentage points, more than in 2017 when there was a 6 percentage point difference. Nationally, the gap in 2019 was 9 percentage points (70% for girls, 61% for boys). Blackpool proportions have, however, increased from 2017, when 66% of girls and 59% of boys achieved the expected standard.

A higher proportion of girls also reached the higher standard of reading, writing and maths in 2019, with 9% of girls and 6% of boys achieving this level, a difference of 3 percentage points.

At individual subject level, a higher proportion of girls than boys reach the expected standard in all subjects, as shown in Figure 20. The biggest attainment gap between boys and girls is in teacher assessment for writing at 11 percentage points.

Figure 20: Attainment gaps by gender in pupils reaching the expected standard in KS2 tests and teacher assessments, Blackpool, 2019

 2022 KS2 gender gap

Source: DfE, National curriculum assessments at key stage 2, England 2019

Achievement of the expected standard is affected negatively by deprivation and disadvantage issues. Disadvantaged pupils are defined as those who are registered as eligible for free school meals, children looked after by the local authority, and children who left care. In 2017, 49% of pupils at the end of KS2 were classed as disadvantaged in Blackpool.

Figure 21 shows the proportion of disadvantaged pupils reaching the expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths and while more disadvantaged pupils in Blackpool achieved the expected standard than across England, there is a 16 percentage point difference between them and all other pupils in Blackpool. Figure 22 shows the percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths by specific characteristic of child.

Figure 21: Percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at the end of KS2, 2019

2022 KS2 disadvantage

 
Source: DfE, National curriculum assessments at key stage 2, England 2019

Figure 22: Percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard at KS2 in all of reading, writing and maths by characteristic of child, 2019

2022 KS2 RWM characteristics

 
Source: DfE, National curriculum assessments at key stage 2, England 2019. Note: Blackpool proportions of Black and Chinese pupils excluded due to low eligibility numbers.

Progress is now measured by a 'value added' type measure in reading, writing and mathematics. The progress measures compare pupils’ key stage 2 results to those of other pupils nationally with similar prior attainment.

    • A positive score means pupils in this school on average do better at KS2 than those with similar prior attainment nationally.
    • A negative score means pupils in this school on average do worse at KS2 than those with similar prior attainment nationally.

A negative score does not mean that pupils did not make any progress, rather it means they made less progress than other pupils nationally with similar starting points. There is no 'target' for the amount of progress an individual pupil is expected to make.

Figure 23 shows the attainment gap between pupils with specific characteristics and children who do not fall into that category. Negative values indicate lower percentages of pupils achieving the expected progress in the indicated topic. On average, pupils in most groups in Blackpool progressed better than the national level in reading and mathematics, but less well in writing. Those with Special Education Needs Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) progressed less well than national counterparts across all three areas.

Figure 23: Key Stage 2 Progress by characteristic of pupil, Blackpool, 2019

2022 KS2 Progress

 Source: DfE, National curriculum assessments at key stage 2, England 2019

School Achievement: Secondary School

Achievement at secondary level is usually measured by Key Stage 4 exam results and reported against national averages. For the Covid-19 school period of 2019/20, students were awarded a school-assessed grade (based on what the school believed the student would most likely have achieved) or their calculated grade using a model developed by Ofqual - whichever of the two was higher. For 2020/21 students were only assessed on the content they had been taught, and schools were given flexibility to decide how to assess performance (e.g. mock exams, class tests and non-exam assessments). Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) were then determined by teachers on the range of evidence available. Reported results for the Covid period reflect these changes in assessment approach, and caution should be exercised when making comparisons. For further information see the DfE policy paper 'School and College Accountability: 2020 to 2021 academic year'.

A new secondary school accountability system was implemented in 2016. The 2016 headline accountability measures for schools are: Progress 8, Attainment 8, and English Baccalaureate (EBacc) entry and achievement.

    • Progress 8 is based on students' progress measured across eight subjects: English; Mathematics; three other English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects (sciences, computer science, geography, history and languages); and three further subjects, which can be from the range of EBacc subjects, or can be any other GCSE or approved, high-value arts, academic, or vocational qualification. It aims to capture the progress pupils make from the end of key stage 2 to the end of key stage 4. A score of above 0 means a student is making above average progress.
    • Attainment 8 is the students' average achievement across these eight subjects.
    • The English Baccalaureate - though not a qualification in itself - is a measure of success in core academic subjects; specifically English, mathematics, history or geography, the sciences and a language. The EBacc aims to reverse the long-term drift away from students taking the likes of history, geography, French, Spanish and other modern languages.

GCSEs were also reformed between 2017 and 2020, with new and more demanding subject content, whilst remaining suitable for a wide range of abilities. A grading system of 9 (highest) to 1 (lowest) was introduced, with grades 9 to 4 replacing the previous levels of A* to C and grades 3 to 1 replacing D to G4.

Figure 24 shows Attainment 8 and Progress 8 scores for Blackpool, the North West and England between 2015/16 and 2020/21. Whilst year-on-year trends should not be compared due to changes to assessement and scoring over this period5, the Blackpool overall average Attainment 8 score is consistently significantly lower than the national average. This is also reflected in Progress 8 scores:

    • The average Attainment 8 score for Blackpool pupils was 41.7 in 2020/21 compared to 50.9 nationally.
    • The Blackpool Attainment 8 score has been the second lowest in the country (after Knowsley) over the past three academic years.
    • The average Progress 8 score shows Blackpool pupils achieve over half a grade lower than similar pupils nationally and are making below average progress.
    • In 2020/21, 57.5% of students in Blackpool achieved grades 9 to 4 in English and Maths GCSE (teacher assessed), compared to 72.2% nationally. In 2018/19 (the last year of full examinations) 47.8% of students in Blackpool achieved grades 9 to 4 in English and Maths compared to 64.9% nationally.
    • 19% of Blackpool students were entered for the English Baccalaureate in 2020/21, compared to 38.7% nationally.
    • Blackpool's girls make better progress than the boys, their achievement is closer to the national average.

Figure 24: Average Attainment 8 and Progress 8 Scores at the End of Key Stage 4, 2015/16 to 2020/21

2022 Att8 Prog8

Source: Department for Education, Key Stage 4 Performance Academic Year 2015/16 to 2020/21 datasets. No progress 8 data was produced for 2020/21.

Figure 25: Pupils entered and their achievements in the components of the English Baccalaureate, 2020/21

2022 KS4 EBacc outcomes

Source: Department for Education, Key Stage 4 Performance, Academic Year 2020/21

Key stage 4 achievement by pupil characteristic

Being from low income background, having special educational needs or being eligible for free school meals appears to affect achievement negatively. On the other hand, females, asian young people and those for whom English is an additional language perform better than average (Figure 26).

Figure 26: Average attainment 8 score per pupil by pupil characteristic in Blackpool, 2020/21

2022 KS4 char Att8

Source: Department for Education, Key Stage 4 Performance, Academic Year 2020/21

Blackpool Opportunity Area

Opportunity areas are part of the government's national plan for dealing with social mobility through education. The plan, 'Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential' sets out how they will remove obstacles that could stop people from achieving their potential.

The primary purpose of Opportunity Areas is to focus local and national resources to increase social mobility. The programme will involve focusing the Department for Education's energy, ideas and resources to provide children and young people with the opportunities to fulfil their potential. It will adopt a place-based approach involving the whole education community, from early years to employment, in the areas of the country where social mobility is lowest. Blackpool is one of the 12 opportunity areas.

The local plan to deliver opportunities for children and young people is the Blackpool Opportunity Area 2017-20 delivery plan

The priorities for Blackpool are to:

    • Raise attainment and progression in Blackpool's schools
    • Support vulnerable children and families to improve attendance and outcomes, and to reduce exclusions from school
    • Improve advice and support for young people when moving between schools/colleges and into work.

School Place Planning

In order to plan for future demand on primary and secondary school places, Blackpool Council uses a pupil projection model based on:

    • Numbers on roll data provided by the January School Census
    • ONS Single Age Population Estimates
    • ONS Birth Projections
    • Blackpool Council Housing Monitoring Report

Estimates also take into account anticipated new housing builds in the area. To provide more detailed insight, Blackpool is divided into three planning areas: North, Central and South. The different parts of Blackpool are facing different issues about school places and although the total area of the borough is small:

    • There are logistical problems in crossing the town by public transport
    • Traffic levels are very high making pedestrian access hazardous for children
    • Housing type and density varies across the town

The model shows that Blackpool has sufficient primary and secondary place provision for anticipated demand up to 2032 (Figures 27 and 28). Demand for secondary school places is likely to peak in 2026/27, though there is still predicted to be a surplus in places across the three Blackpool areas. The greatest pressure on capacity is likely to be in North and Central areas.

Figure 27 - Surplus Capacity in Primary Schools by Area 2019-2032

 2022 Prim Surplus

Source: Blackpool Council Pupil Projection Model (School Capacity Return 2021)

Figure 28 - Surplus Capacity in Secondary Schools by Area 2019-2032

 2022 Sec Surplus

Source: Blackpool Council Pupil Projection Model (School Capacity Return 2021)

School place demand is sensitive to the availability of places in Lancashire schools that border Blackpool. Historically a significant proportion of Blackpool children move from Blackpool primary education to Lancashire County secondary schools.

Figure 29 shows the proportion of Blackpool children who are offered a school place outside of the area at the start Year 0 (primary school reception year) and Year 7 (secondary school). Recent trends indicate a rise in the number and proportion of children offered primary school places outside Blackpool, though this has reduced slightly for the most recent 2022/23 intake. The proportion of those with secondary school offers outside the Blackpool area remains higher than primary school levels, though the numbers and overall proportion has declined from 17.5% in 2017/18 to 14% in 2022/23.

Figure 29: Year 6 and Year 7 pupils living in Blackpool who attend schools maintained by other local authorities

 2022 Prim Sec Cross Border

 Source: Blackpool Council School Preference Data, 2022

 

National and local strategies (current best practices)

Blackpool Council provides school improvement officers to help each of our schools reach and maintain high performance.

The Blackpool Opportunity Area 2017-20 delivery plan shows the priorities for dealing with social mobility through education.


[1] see Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Child and Maternal Health Data. Comparisons based on key stage 2 pupils meeting expected standard for reading, writing and maths, and average Attainment 8 scores (original source: Department for Education).

[2] Department for Education, Children looked after in England, including adoption: 2020 to 2021

[3] Department for Education, Permanent exclusions and suspensions in England: 2019 to 2020

[4] Ofqual (2019) GCSE 9 to 1 grades: a brief guide for parents.

[5] From 2018, Attainment 8 had a maximum point score of 90, compared to a maximum of 87 in 2017 and 80 in 2016. This helped to minimise fluctuations in the average Attainment 8 scores following the phased introduction of 9-1 reformed GCSEs. These differences should be considered when comparing Attainment 8 scores between 2016-2019. In 2020 and 2021, the majority of Attainment 8 scores were based on qualifications that were awarded via centre assessment grades rather than exams, so they are likely to be higher due to this and are not comparable to previous years.