Five key measures proposed for new 6th form tables


New league tables for colleges and school 6th forms will feature five key measures – attainment, destinations, completion, progress, and combined attainment and completion.

Proposals set out in a Department for Education consultation document include a Pupil Premium measure showing how many poorer students get “good” qualifications.

Furthermore, the new requirement for post-16 learners to continue studying maths and English GCSE until they attain at least a C will feature, as will the new TechBacc – which is made up of maths, the extended project and a “high-quality, graded” vocational qualification.

The new look tables would compare “like with like” when it comes to qualifications available post-16, with three distinct groupings for Level 3 courses –  “academic”, “applied general” or “Technical”.

For A levels, the use of an average grade from each student’s best three A level results is proposed, along with the retention of the AAB measure in facilitating subjects – those A levels considered acceptable for entry to Russell Group universities.

The five “top line” measures at Levels 2 and 3 include the following:

  • Average level of attainment of students at Level 2.

  • Destination measures showing where students move on to.

  • Completion measures showing how many students who start a course are retained until the end.

  • A combined completion and attainment measure comparing a provider’s performance in each subject to the national average.

The fifth measure at Level 2 will be the proportion of students studying “substantial vocational qualifications”, while at Level 3 it will be a progress measure showing the progress of similar students nationally who, according to their results at the end of key stage 4, were of the same level of ability.

The government also intends to introduce minimum standards at Levels 2 and 3. At Level 2 this will see the aggregated attainment/completion score for all “substantial vocational qualifications” compared to other institutions nationally. This data will then be used to set a minimum standard.

At Level 3, the government proposes to aggregate the data on student progress between key stage 4 and a graded Level 3 qualification to give separate scores for academic and general applied qualifications.  

The standard will then be set against this data with the tables showing how attainment compares to the national average. Technical qualifications will not be included.

The government has warned that the new tables will be used to hold colleges and 6th forms to account. A statement said: “Those that fail to meet the standards required will face intervention from the government.”

School minister David Laws said: “To build a stronger economy and a fairer society it is vital we raise standards so all our colleges and 6th forms perform to a high level.”

The consultation runs until November 20 with the results published in the spring. Visit


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