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GCSE Results 2020: A joint statement from Brighton and Hove Secondary Headteachers 

As B&H Secondary Headteachers we write jointly to celebrate the hard work and resilience of Year 11 students, as well as the professionalism of teachers and leaders across the city on this most unusual of exam result days. Grades have been issued to students not on the basis of exam performance but on the professional opinion and expertise of school staff. Staff have shown great integrity in issuing grades that they felt reflected the hard work and endeavour shown by students and all grades were carefully considered. Students have coped with huge disruption to their learning, and the uncertainty over how they would be issued grades and what their progression to Post 16 study would involve. It is not a day to celebrate the successes of individual schools, it is a day to celebrate the hard work, talent and skill of all of our Year 11 students, and all of our school staff. We are collectively proud of our students, and proud of our staff. 

GCSE Results 2020

In 2020, students did not sit GCSE exams and results were arrived at from Centre Assessed Grades.  However, schools went through a rigorous process to accurately submit accurate grades reflecting student performance and past performance of the school.  As such, we are confident that the grades achieved by students were a fair reflection of what they would have achieved in final exams.  The results did not differ significantly from our previous forecasts; we have a record of accurate forecasting of results.

Overall Results

  • 63% of students gained a 5or above in both English and Maths.    86% achieved Grade 4 or above.  A quarter of students gained Grade 7 or above in both subjects.
  • Attainment 8 was 57.26, indicating that the average grade achieved by students in their top 8 subjects was a high grade 5.
  • 30% of students were entered for the full EBacc suite of subjects with 92% achieving Grade 4+ in all subjects and 75% gaining a 5+ in all 6 subjects. 
  • When compared to national results in 2019, our progress 8 was 0.64, suggesting that, on average, students gained half a grade per subject above national expectations.    This was evident across all students, regardless of prior attainment.


  • 82% of students gained a grade 5 or above (Strong Pass) in English Language or English Literature or both.  94% were at Grade 4 or above (Pass)
  • Almost 40% of students achieved an English qualification at Grade 7 or above.  Over 10% gained a Grade 9 in English.


  • 67% of students achieved a grade 5 or above (Strong Pass) in Maths.   88% were at Grade 4 or above (Pass).
  • A third of students achieved grades of 7 or above.   There were 29 Grade 9s.
  • Students also gained qualifications in Statistics, Further Maths and FSMQ Additional Maths (a level 3 subject).
  • In Statistics, 60 out of 61 students gained Grade 7 or higher with over a third gaining a grade 9
  • In Further Maths, 75% of entered students gained a Grade 9
  • In Additional Maths, 19 out of 20 students gained a Grade A


  • 78% of students passed two or more Science GCSEs.
  • Approximately 30% of the cohort were entered for 3 separate Science GCSEs.  All achieved Grade 5 or above (Strong Passes).  Just under a half of grades were at Grade 7 or higher.

Stretching the Highest Attainers

As a school our aim is for every child to achieve their potential.  This means that we place high expectations on our higher attainers.  In 2020:

  • 36% of all grades were at Grade 7 or higher.
  • There were 285 grade 9s achieved.
  • 20 students gained an FSMQ Additional Maths (a level 3 qualification).  19 of these were at Grade A.
  • Our highest attainers achieved 13 GCSEs plus a level 3 (higher level) qualification. 
  • 5 students gained 10 or more GCSEs at Grade 9 as well as an A in a higher level qualification
  • 21 students gained 5 or more qualifications at Grade 9 and 54 at Grade 8 or above and over 100 at Grade 7 or above.
  • A fifth of students gained 8 or more GCSEs at Grade 7 or above.   
  • We support students who are bilingual in another language to take a GCSE if one exists.   Last year's cohort passed qualifications in 7 different languages last (including Latin)

Supporting the Arts

As a school, we are passionate about maintaining a broad curriculum for students and supporting the Arts.  We offer 4 different Art qualifications, 2 in DT, 2 in Music as well as Drama and Dance.

  • Approximately half of students took an Art qualification; 95% achieved a Grade 5 or above with almost half achieving Grade 7 or above.
  • 10% took a Music qualification.  90% of GCSE Music students gained Grade 7 or higher. 
  •  Approximately 20% took Drama, with half gaining Grades of 7+ and 85% achieving Grade 5+
  • Two thirds of Dance students achieved Grade 5 or above.

Supporting the Lowest Attainers

A key factor in our results is that, with the exception of higher level qualifications, we do not place restrictions on the options that students can take (e.g. allowing lower attaining students to take more stretching subjects such as Psychology and Sociology).  Whilst this can lower results in these subjects, it is often the case that students are inspired to follow an interest and succeed as a result.

We also offer a number of GCSE equivalent courses which are more suited to students who struggle in formal exams.

As a result, the progress 8, measured against 2019 results shows that our weakest prior attainers gained over half a grade per subject above expectations, with half achieving more than a grade per subject above expectations.


Our most recent published results (GCSE 2019) were as follows:

Progress 8 +0.19
Attainment 853.7
Percentage of Students with a pass (4+) in English and Maths78%
Percentage of Students with a strong pass (5+) in English and Maths59%
Percentage of students entered for the Ebacc12%
EBacc Average Points Score4.5
Percentage of students staying in education or employment 97%

DfE Performance tables can be found HERE.



Dorothy Stringer School, Loder Road, Brighton, BN1 6PZ | Tel: 01273 852222 | Fax: 01273 852310 | Email: