Our support for tier of entry decisions at GCSE

We used a survey to gather data and feed back to participants 

We had a great response to our tier of entry survey which meant we could summarise a good-sized set of data and feedback the overall picture to contributors at the end of April. This helped the contributing schools to see if their choices for students were broadly the same as other schools. In some instances, this was not the case and we were able to help these schools see that the decisions they were making were ‘outliers’ when compared to the trend in school decisions for 2017 maths entry. We offered feedback like this chart.

Of course, none of us really know what is the best decision because everything is new – content, challenge and pattern of papers. Apparent outliers may have very good reasons for their different choices.

It was important to re-evaluate the decisions on tier to check the impact on outcomes for students. To try to get an early picture of how the new papers and tiers work for different prior learning groups we followed up our survey in late August/early September. We asked all our contributors to let us know their results by tier and by prior learning group. We did a speedy analysis and gave swift feedback.