The key stage 4 datasets are compiled using information matched together from 3 data sources:
- prior attainment records (key stage 2 results)
- school census records
- qualification entries and results collected from awarding bodies
The census data is provided for all pupils aged 5 and over on 31 August 2016. Any information that still needs to be collected is recorded as ‘not yet obtained’.
If a pupil or parent refused to give information, this is recorded as 'refused'.
These statistics include pupils whose ethnicity was not obtained, who refused to respond, or whose ethnicity could not be determined.
Key stage 4 data received from awarding bodies are combined with pupil characteristics from the school census and prior attainment. Records are matched, using identifiers such as surname, forename, date of birth, UPN, gender and postcode. This successfully matches around 98% of results.
The statistics in this commission cover the data collated for the 2016 secondary school performance tables. The performance tables and the related statistical first release report results based on pupils at the end of key stage 4, who are typically aged 15 at the start of the academic year.
The coverage of the local authority and regional statistics is state-funded mainstream schools in England. This includes city technology colleges and academies but excludes hospital schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision.
Pupils are included in the figures for free school meals (FSM) if their families have claimed eligibility for FSM at the time of the annual spring school census. This FSM definition includes all who were eligible to receive free school meals, not only those who actually received free school meals. Pupils not eligible for free school meals or unclassified pupils are described as ‘Non-FSM’ or ‘All other pupils’.
Parents are able to claim FSM if they receive a qualifying benefit.
FSM is used as an indicator of disadvantage, but when drawing conclusions, it should be remembered that not all eligible parents apply for FSM and families who don’t quite reach the eligibility threshold for FSM may still be suffering deprivation.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Values of 1 or 2, or a percentage based on 1 or 2 pupils who achieved; or 0, 1 or 2 pupils who did not achieve a particular level are suppressed in circumstances where non-suppression would lead to disclosure of pupils. Some additional figures have been suppressed to prevent the possibility of a suppressed figure being revealed.
This suppression is consistent with DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality (PDF). The Code of Practice for Official Statistics requires DfE to take reasonable steps to ensure that their published or disseminated statistics protect confidentiality.
The Code of Practice for Official Statistics requires DfE to take reasonable steps to ensure that their published or disseminated statistics protect confidentiality.
For more information about DfE’s disclosure control procedures for its statistical releases please see DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality (PDF).
Percentages are given to nearest whole number in the tables and charts, and to 1 decimal place in the downloads.Quality and methodology information