Take my own school. According to the tables, we had 114 pupils in Year 11 taking their GCSEs last summer and 52 per cent of them gained five or more passes at A* to C ... apparently. In fact, we had 117 on roll in Year 11, but six of those were a year older, for various reasons, and, although they took their exams with everyone else, their results are not included.
What of the 10 Year 11 pupils who were on roll, but were being taught elsewhere? We did not prepare them for GCSEs, butthey still count, as if we had been.
On the other hand, three Year 10 students who did not take any GCSEs are included, because they are already 16.
By our reckoning, of the 104 pupils we actually taught for GCSE, 61 per cent gained five or more A* to C GCSEs. This would make the three-year trend for us upwards and not down. Is this not a more accurate indicator?
If this level of inaccuracy is true for us, then it may also be true for others. Is it not time to do things differently?