ISC Year 11 exam results 2013

Posted on: 31 Aug 2013
Posted by: Tracy Cook

Typical ISC student achieved 2A*s and 7 As.

  • Rise in number of entries awarded A*
  • Typical ISC student achieved 2A*s and 7 As

View Exam Results 2013 data


GCSE and IGCSE exam results from 561 independent schools show the proportion of entries awarded grade A this year has risen to 32.0% from 31.0% last year. This compares with a national average of 8.2%, down from 8.3% in 2012.*

There has been a 33% rise in the number of IGCSE entries from pupils at Independent Schools Council (ISC) schools. This year ISC schools reported 129,288 IGCSEs taken by their pupils, up from 97,008 last year. 398 schools had pupils taking at least one IGCSE.

Pupils at ISC schools took fewer GCSEs this year: 274,183 down from 293,335 in 2012. IGCSEs now account for 32.0% of year 11 exam entries, up from 24.9% in 2012.

Barnaby Lenon, Chairman, Independent Schools Council (ISC), said:

"I am delighted that the independent sector is celebrating another fantastic year of GCSE results, and am immensely proud of all our students who have worked exceptionally hard to obtain top marks. It is remarkable that the proportion of entries awarded grade A* has risen, bucking the national trend where there has been a fall in the proportion attaining the top grade. Also noteworthy is that the typical ISC student achieves 2 A*s and 7As, providing the perfect springboard on which they can continue their education at A-level this autumn. Without a doubt, the results further underline the extremely important contribution that ISC schools make to UK education."

The results are from 561 ISC schools, representing 403,471 entries from 42,017 candidates. The aggregate data, for both GCSE and IGCSE combined, show that candidates in ISC schools took an average of 9.6 subjects each, and:

32.0% of all exam entries received the A* grade, up from 31.0% last year (national average 8.2%, down from 8.3% in 2012).

60.4% were graded A* or A, up from 60.0% in 2012 (national average 23.0%, down from 23.7% in 2012).

94.4% were graded A* to C, the same proportion as in 2012 (nationally, 68.7% were graded A* to C, compared with 70.0% last year).

90.8% achieved five or more A* to C grades including maths and English (national figures for 2013 are not yet available, but in 2012 the national figure was 58.8%). 78.0% of ISC pupils this year achieved five or more A* to C grades including maths, English, a science and a modern foreign language.

In 191 ISC schools (34.0% of the total), every pupil achieved five or more A* to C grades. In a further 154 schools (a further 27.5% of the total) 95% or more of pupils achieved this standard.

For ISC schools as a whole, the figures show that candidates achieved an average total of 480.3 points – approximately equivalent to a nine subject result of 2 A*s and 7 As – and an average subject entry result of 50.0, which is closer to an A than a B.

Case Studies

1. Bedales School

Bedales celebrated impressive exam results on GCSE results day with over half the grades awarded at A* or A. Bedales uses its independence to offer a combination of GCSEs, the more challenging IGCSEs, and the school’s unique GCSE alternative, Bedales Assessed Courses (BACs). All three qualifications use the same A-G grading system. This year’s cohort achieved 29% A grades, higher than any of their predecessors since the current curriculum was started in 2008.

The content of BACs is broad and stimulating offering cross curricular opportunities that are suited to a wide variety of learning styles. Internal assessment includes a mixture of written assignments, presentations, projects and performances, together with terminal examinations as appropriate. Bedales is the first school to be recognised by UCAS as offering its own GCSE-replacement qualification.

12 Bedales students achieved a minimum of nine A* grades; three of those achieving 11As and three achieving 10As. In total 21 students (from a cohort of 92) achieved a minimum of nine grade A*/As.

Commenting on the students’ achievements, Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools said:

"Congratulations to our students on their excellent results. The Bedales curriculum is now mainly a combination of the more challenging IGCSEs and Bedales Assessed Courses, with fewer GCSEs, which makes the results even more impressive. Bedales has a history of educational innovation. The replacement of some GCSEs with our own Bedales Assessed Courses has, I believe, not only created a better platform for A Level success but also led to more success with offers from prestigious universities as these courses are not only more imaginative and motivating, but also offer a more academically stretching curriculum."

Contact: Charlotte Bowdery, Online Communications Manager, Bedales School 01730 711557 / 07584 171611

2. Solihull School

Boys and girls from Solihull School celebrated ‘Mobot’-style after achieving record-breaking GCSE results. More than three-quarters of grades at the independent school were at A* or A grade, with ten pupils clinching 10 or more As and 23 gaining eight As. A total of 38 pupils gained ten or more A* or A grades, contributing to a record 77 per cent pass rate for the School at the top two grades.

Solihull School also achieved an overall pass rate of 100 per cent with 99 per cent of all grades at A* to C. Pupils were so thrilled by their success that they couldn’t resist joining in the celebration craze started by double Olympic Gold Medal and World Championship winning runner Mo Farah.

David E J J Lloyd, Solihull School Headmaster, said:

"These sensational record-breaking results strengthen our standing as one of the highest-achieving schools in the Midlands. To have three quarters of our GCSE exam entries gain the top two grades is a monumental achievement that rewards the sheer hard work and commitment of our pupils and staff."

Contact: Sean Morgan, Senior Deputy Headmaster, Solihull School 0121 705 0958.

3. Queen’s College

Queen’s College in Taunton not only gained the top A Level results in Taunton last week, the school also has outstanding GCSE results it was announced today. 47% of all exams were graded A* and A, 75% were A, A and B and 93% were graded A-C. 7 students scored 10 or more A* grades.

Outstanding musician, Chris Hedges (16) from Taunton, has not only achieved ten A* grades and one A grade in his GCSEs, he also has just completed his ATCL Diploma on cello receiving a high distinction score of 92%, his Advanced Certificate on piano receiving 90% and is working towards grade 8 trombone.

Top horsewoman, Romilly Simmons (16) from Taunton, has not only achieved impressive marks in her GCSEs (three A, three B and three C grades) she is also a stunning show jumper and horse trainer and is aiming for future Olympic Games.

Commenting on the impressive results Queen’s College Headmaster Chris Alcock said:

"We are fortunate here at Queen’s that we have some inspirational staff who excite intellectual curiosity and provide a stimulating and happy environment which is ideal for learning. Coupled with small class sizes and attention for individual needs, it is not surprising that students here are able to achieve some pretty impressive results and can take advantage of the exceptional range of co-curricular activities on offer."

Contact: Queen’s College marketing department 01823 340906 / email


Notes to editors:

Year 11 exam results

Results from ISC schools include IGCSE as well as GCSE. ISC continues to believe that there are no grounds for the separation of performance of the IGCSE from the GCSE.

Full grade information (including a spreadsheet of school-by-school results) will be available from 12pm Saturday 31 August 2013 at A final database of all results (taking into account re-marks and additional returns) will be issued in December.

View Exam Results 2013 data

Independent Schools Council

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) brings together eight associations of independent schools, their Heads, bursars and governors. These collectively represent over 1,200 independent schools in the UK and overseas, educating more than half a million children each year.

Barnaby Lenon became chairman of ISC in September 2011 after retiring as head master of Harrow School. He has been on the Ofqual board since May 2012.

Joint Council for Qualifications

For more information on the national figures released by Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), please visit their website: