Attainment 8 and Progress 8 can be quite confusing. In this article, I’ll explain how they work and how to interpret the numbers when looking at and comparing secondary school GCSE results.
As a quick summary, Attainment 8 is a measure of how well pupils have achieved in their GCSE results and Progress 8 is a measure of how those achievements compare with other children in England that started secondary school at the same level. Progress 8 is therefore a measure of how much value a school is adding compared to other schools, i.e. do children who start at the same level, do better or worse at one school compared to another. There are clearly advantages to measuring schools on progress rather than attainment, notably because children all start secondary school at different levels and the more progress they make the better, irrespective of where they started or finished on the grade scale.