GCSE attainment by ethnicity (2021/22)
GCSE attainment is higher in London than in England overall. This was true for both boys and girls, students who do not speak English as a first language, students with Special Educational Needs and students from minority ethnic backgrounds.
Attainment decreased from 2020/21 to 2021/22 in London and England across almost all groups. The only exception were Asian students in England overall, whose grades stayed stable. The largest relative fall in attainment was recorded for students with special education needs.
The decrease in grades from 2020/21 to 2021/22 is likely due to a return to normal examination formats after the big disruptions to the education system caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the previous two years, GCSE exams were cancelled; instead, students obtained teacher-produced grades, which very likely contributed to grade inflation in a substantial way. Therefore, lower attainment scores do not necessarily reflect reduced performance.
In both London and England, girls perform better at GCSE than boys, with 76.5% of girls achieving grades 9-4 (the equivalent of A*-C under the old system) in English and Maths in London, but only 72.1% of boys.
In London, 75.6% of students with English as a second language achieved grades 9-4 in English and Maths compared to 73.5% of those who speak English as a first language with a similar pattern found in England overall.
Students with Special Educational Needs have much lower attainment than the average student and the attainment gap is roughly the same in London and the rest of England.
In London, Chinese and Asian students have the highest attainment with pass rates of 90.8% and 82.4%, which is significantly higher than the pass rate of all students - 74.3%.