Third of GCSEs taken in private schools graded A*

In an article in the Telegraph, 31/08/13, Graeme Paton reports that pupils from private schools were four times more likely to gain elite grades in GCSE exams as peers educated in the state system this year amid a widening gulf between the two sectors.

New figures show that almost a third of exams sat in fee-paying schools – 32 per cent – were marked A* this summer. It was up one percentage point in 12 months.

The disclosure comes despite a drop in the number of top grades awarded nationally – the vast majority of which were taken in state schools – following a toughening up GCSEs in core subjects.

Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, just 8.2 per cent of test papers were awarded A*, compared with 8.3 per cent in 2012.

The figures suggest that privately-educated pupils are pulling ahead of their peers in the state system. It follows the publication of figures earlier this month showing that private school pupils are also gaining better A-level grades and tightening their grip on places at leading universities.

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