The case of the missing X-files

1st September 1995 at 01:00
The table of A-Level results that you printed on August 18 is misleading because it omits X grades, which are awarded when candidates do not complete one or all of the papers.

This college obtained figures from one board for 16 A-Levels, which indicated that X grades average 5 per cent and can be as high as 8 per cent in individual subjects.

Schools and colleges are required to include X grades in their publications; the Department for Education and Employment count them in league tables, yet the GCE Boards ignore them in their press releases.

This helps push the reported national pass rates over 80 per cent and allows people to draw conclusions about standards that may not be supported by the evidence.


Senior Registrar Lewisham College Lewisham Way London SE4

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today