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  • Writer's pictureNon Stop Kids

Exploring the Impact of School Attainment & GCSE Pass Rate on Local Authorities

GCSEs are a crucial milestone for students across England, serving as a gateway to their future academic and professional endeavours. However, not all regions in England have the same level of success when it comes to GCSE attainment. Before delving into the findings of this report, it is crucial to acknowledge the unprecedented disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of schools, implementation of remote learning, and subsequent adjustments to examination formats have undoubtedly affected the educational landscape. As the GCSE exam season has returned to a level of normality, students face heightened pressure to navigate the curriculum and achieve the grades necessary for their future aspirations.


In a bid to shed light on this issue, Non-Stop Kids and Online Marketing Surgery have conducted a comprehensive analysis. This report aims to rank local authorities across England based on their schools' average attainment 8 score. 'Attainment 8' data measures the results of pupils at state-funded mainstream schools in England in 8 GCSE-level qualifications. Revealing insights into areas with the lowest pass rates and the potential implications for students and communities. These findings underscore the need for targeted interventions and further support to address educational inequalities and improve outcomes for all students.


Top 5 Areas With The Lowest Attainment Average


1.     Blackpool - 36.1 Average

Blackpool, the small seaside town nestled in Lancashire, emerges at the forefront of this report with the lowest average attainment 8 score of 36.1. This figure, reflective of the academic performance of the region's secondary schools, underscores the challenges faced by students in achieving desired educational outcomes. Despite Blackpool boasting a total of 9 schools, only one managed to surpass the average attainment rate for the year. South Shore Academy, unfortunately, recorded the lowest attainment score within the area, standing at  -1.91.


2. Knowsley - 37.9 Average

Coming in second on the list of areas with the lowest attainment average is Knowsley, situated in the heart of Merseyside. With an average attainment 8 score of 37.9, Knowsley's educational landscape reflects similar struggles in achieving academic excellence. Last year, the region accommodated a total of 66,214 students across its schools. Notably, Finch Woods Academy emerged with the lowest score within the area, registering a concerning figure of  -2.78.


3.     Portsmouth - 37.9 Average

Portsmouth, a vibrant coastal city immersed in maritime history, finds itself among the areas with the lowest attainment average, sharing the spotlight with Knowsley. Despite boasting a substantial population of 15 to 16 year-olds, totalling 81,496 students across its schools, Portsmouth reported an attainment 8 average of 38.6. However, The Harbour School within the area struggled with attainment, recording the lowest score of  -2.31, indicative of the challenges faced by students in reaching their academic potential.


4.     Stoke-on-Trent - 40.1 Average

Stoke-on-Trent, renowned for its industrial heritage and cultural diversity, occupies the fourth position on the list, with a school attainment 8 average of 40.1. Last year, the region accommodated a sizable cohort of 124,594 GCSE students across its schools. Despite this, Abbey Hill School and College emerged with the lowest attainment score within the area, standing at  -1.57. This highlights the persistent obstacles encountered by students in Stoke-on-Trent on their educational journey.


5.     Liverpool - 40.7 Average

Rounding off the top five areas with the lowest attainment average is Liverpool, a vibrant city celebrated for its rich cultural heritage and thriving arts scene. Despite accommodating the highest number of GCSE students among the top five areas, totalling 198,402 students last year, Liverpool reported an attainment 8 average of 40.7. Notably, Walton High emerged with the lowest attainment score within the area, recording a figure of  -1.98. This underscores the importance of addressing educational disparities and providing targeted support to students in Liverpool to foster academic success.


Top 10 Areas With The Lowest Attainment 8 Score Average

Local authority

Count of children (15-16)

Attainment rate score

Blackpool

53,837

36.1

Knowsley

66,214

37.9

Portsmouth

81,496

38.6

Stoke-on-Trent

124,594

40.1

Liverpool

198,402

40.7

Isle of Wight

50,601

40.9

Middlesbrough

71,376

41

Hartlepool

45,884

41.2

Salford

113,044

41.5

North East Lincolnshire

74,880

41.6

 

Top 10 Areas With The Highest Attainment 8 Score Average

Local authority

Count of children (15-16)

Attainment rate score

Richmond upon Thames

95,975

58.4

Kingston upon Thames

92,845

56.2

Barnet

224,561

56

Sutton

139,184

55.9

Wokingham

111,970

55

Merton

114,935

54.9

Trafford

161,479

54.8

Redbridge

208,965

54.3

Harrow

150,185

53.8

 

Methodology


  • The recent data around school attainment 8 scores was taken from the child profile publication from GOV.UK, which shows each local authority’s average.

  • We also looked at individual local authorities to find all schools in the area. From this, we saw if they’re below or above the 0-school average.


This report provides valuable insights into the educational landscape across England, regarding schools' average attainment 8 scores. By shedding light on areas with lower pass rates, this report underscores the pressing need for targeted interventions and additional support to address educational inequalities and enhance outcomes for all students.


For Non-Stop Kids, understanding these educational disparities can inform their approach to providing enriching experiences, such as kids parties, that contribute positively to children's development regardless of their background. Ultimately, this research highlights the importance of collaborative efforts to foster a more equitable and inclusive educational system for the benefit of all young learners and their communities.

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