If you were asked what an average grade was in the new GCSEs, what would the answer be? Is it a standard pass, a 4, or a good pass, a 5? Or is it potentially any score from 3, a near miss, to a 7, an approximate B in old money?
The answer will depend on expectations and context. But there is no doubt that thanks to the overhaul of GCSEs and the addition of more granular grading, our understanding of ‘average’ has been officially stretched.
This report shows that while ‘average’ may be convenient statistical shorthand, for teachers and students it has distinct limitations. It won’t give teachers the granular information they need to overcome learning barriers or unlock students’ potential.
So what does ‘average’ actually mean? What are the risks of considering a child to be ‘average’? And what can we do about it? Our report attempts to answer these questions.