"A focus on level four at key stage 2, or five good GCSEs, seems to sit uncomfortably with the inclusion agenda," he said in a speech to this week's Local Government Association education conference in Liverpool. "I'm not denying the importance of five A* to C grade GCSEs. But if we are serious about having all pupils achieve to their maximum potential, we have got to have some way of measuring, reporting and and recognising that achievement. Schools feel much more comfortable with tables that give recognition to the wider range of achievement than the current tables."
The Office for Standards in Education uses GCSE point scores in its reports, as well as identifying trends in progress and achievement over several years of results. Point scores take into account all GCSE passes, not just those at A* to C, and can also accommodate vocational qualifications.