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Progress 8 and Attainment 8: A guide for business

by Sophie Greenwood, our Head of Service Excellence


Schools had their first batch of Progress 8 and Attainment 8 data earlier this year – but what does this mean to you as a business? This will be the new main measure for schools from academic year 2018/19 onwards (no more A* - C) and schools and young people will be talking about these measures regularly. This is important as your future workforce are part of these new measures.

What does Progress 8 and Attainment 8 mean?

Attainment 8 is a measure of a pupil’s average grade across the subjects they study. GCSEs will now be measured on a 1-9 point score scale, rather than the current A* to G scale. The total Attainment 8 score is when all of the 1-9 point scores are added up (although some subjects count more than others but you don’t need to worry too much about how this is calculated!).

Progress 8 is a score that shows how a young person performed against their expected grades, in line with predicted grades of students across the country. A school’s Progress 8 score is calculated as the average of its pupils’ Progress 8 scores. It gives an indication of whether, as a group, pupils in the school made above or below average progress compared to similar pupils in other schools.

If you’d like to see this information in a video format, the video below from TES is a great introduction to the new system. With these changes coming in soon it is certainly worth a watch to get up to speed.


Three minute video intro



How does it impact my business?

Over the coming years, young people will be approaching you with CVs and applications listing a 1-9 rating, instead of the usual A* - G grading, against their GCSEs. As a business it’s important to understand what these grades mean and how it translates to the A*-G grades against a young person’s subjects.

Here’s a quick guide to the points below for 2017.


GCSE Grade

2017 Points



















Where can I find out Progress 8 data about schools?

The Government has a data service for all schools. You can look any UK school up on here and find all the data you need: https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk. This data includes Progress 8 and Attainment 8 and how these compare for disadvantaged pupils.


If you'd like more information about the changes to UK schools' grading system and qualifications for your business then please do contact us for a factsheet.


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