Brighton & Hove celebrates GCSE improvement

Overall GCSE results in schools across Brighton & Hove have improved this year, according to a key new performance measures introduced by the government.

‘Attainment 8’ shows average attainment at individual schools across eight subjects.

Last year the city’s overall Attainment 8 score was 46.8. The figure for this year is 48.0.

Most GCSEs are now being graded from 9 to 1, with 9 being the top grade. Government guidance advises that a Grade 4 is considered a ‘standard’ pass.

This new system was introduced last year for maths and English, but this year nearly 20 other subjects (full list below) are also being graded in this way.

The exams themselves are also seen by many as being tougher than before.

City-wide figures received from schools today in the key maths and English accountability measures required by the government are as follows:



Grades 9-4 in maths



Grades 9-4 in English 



Grades 9-4 in English and maths combined




The results for this year are provisional, and will be subject to formal verification later in the year.

The chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s children, young people and skills committee, Councillor Dan Chapman, said:

“The new Attainment 8 system is widely recognised as an effective way of measuring overall school performance across their wider curriculum.

“This year-on-year improvement is above all due to the sheer hard work and dedication of our students.

“It also comes on the back of improved results city-wide at both A-level and primary level.

“I would like to congratulate all of our young people, as well as the secondary schools, teachers and support staff who have supported them.

“I would also say any students who did not get the results they wished for to remain positive.

“As well as A and AS levels there is a fantastic range of vocational and other opportunities in our city, including apprenticeships, to match any skills you wish to develop.

“Congratulations to the council’s schools team and the city’s Education Partnership for their continued collaboration to raise standards.”

“Today’s results show that this approach is working well.”

The full list of subjects with new 9-1 grades being introduced this year is:

  • Ancient languages (classical Greek, Latin)
  • Art and design
  • Biology, chemistry, physics
  • Combined science (= double award)
  • Citizenship studies
  • Computer science
  • Dance, drama and music
  • Food preparation and nutrition
  • Geography and history
  • Modern foreign languages (French, German, Spanish)
  • Physical education
  • Religious studies.

Further information on the GCSE grading system can be found on the Department of Education website:

Apprenticeships are a great way to earn while you learn. For more information visit

For apprenticeships at the council, please visit:

** The Attainment 8 scores for 2017 nationally were worked out in a slightly different way to this year using a government-approved methodology for converting old style A*-G results to the new 9-1 system.