The release of A level results show once again that the gap has narrowed between the state and private sectors. For the last decade at least the proportion of the highest grades coming from state schools has been gradually increasing.
The percentage of state school A levels achieving an A or A* grade had risen from 22.2% in 2009 to 22.6% in 2010 and then to 23.4% in 2011. This appears not to have been due to ‘grade inflation’ as the proportion in private schools rose only from 50.6% to 50.8% in 2010 and stayed at the same figure in 2011.
The 2012 results show a fall for both sectors. The private sector % has fallen by 0.7% to 50.1% and the state sector % by 0.5% to 22.9%. This means that the gap has reduced in each of the last three years. The gap was 28.4% in 2009, 28.2% in 2010, 27.4% in 2011 and 27.2% in 2012.:
The figure in private schools does of course remain higher. However this can be expected from the background of those attending such schools. The key fact is that the gap is steadily – year by year – closing. It is clear that the performance of state schools is consistently improving. Let’s celebrate this and congratulate the students and their teachers on the hard work and dedication that is delivering these results.
For a comparison of the performance of a school in each sector, Wellington College and Stoke Newington School, see here
Data Note: The figures for A levels by sector are taken from documents for 2010
on the Joint Council for Qualifications web site. The figures for 2009, 2010 and 2011 are the result of combining the different types of school in the state sector. In 2012 JCQ present only one figure for the state sector.