Question to Norfolk County Council Cabinet about A Level performance

My question to Norfolk’s ‘Cabinet’ about A Level performance and the reply:

Question from Cllr Ed Maxfield

We are all aware of the A Level grading fiasco in the summer but the results published by the Joint Council for Qualifications continue to show underperformance of boys at A Level compared to girls, especially in key subjects like English. Would Councillor Fisher ensure a breakdown of the A Level results for Norfolk are provided to the People and Communities Committee and set out the County Council’s strategy for increasing participation in Higher Education by young people from Norfolk?


It is not appropriate to analyse this years data to draw any reliable conclusions, or amend our current approaches and so it is not our intention to bring further detail on A level result to the committee. The department for education (DfE) have stated that due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the subsequent changes made to the awarding process for examined subjects at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 this year, only a limited amount of educational data will be released on a national basis. The results published by JCQ do indicate similar gender gaps to previous years, but we must be very cautious in interpreting any trends compared to previous results. The DfE have said that they will not hold schools and colleges to account on the basis of exams and assessment data from summer 2020 and that data will not be used by others, such as Ofsted and local authorities, to hold schools and colleges to account. All those working with schools and colleges, such as Ofsted, Department for Education regional teams and local authorities, should use data from previous years when assessing school and college performance (Guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): school and college accountability).The 2019 results therefore will remain the most accurate reflection of performance available at A Level in Norfolk in 2020. The Education Participation and Infrastructure Service, within Childrens Services have been mounting a number of initiatives this summer to ensure that young people have the advice and guidance that they need to progress positively, such as the You do You campaign and the Higher Attainment Scheme, which over the last 3 years has been working with schools and colleges to increase the number of Norfolk young people progressing to Higher Education