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GCSE and A-level results day project

Researchers: Dave Thomson | Philip Nye

Project overview

This project developed a data analysis tool using data on GCSE and A Level results from 2014 to 2018. The tool was available online on results days in 2018 for teachers, policy stakeholders and researchers to explore the data themselves.

There has been substantial policy change for education at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 throughout the United Kingdom in recent years. As a result, among education professionals in education policy, the press and the general public, there has been considerable interest in analysing patterns in GCSE and A-level entries each year when national data is published.

In recent years the FFT Education Datalab has provided live analysis through a series of blogposts on results days. This project extended this work, by creating an FFT Education Datalab and Nuffield Foundation-branded microsite that allowed the public to explore this data for themselves.

The microsite was largely based on data from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) and was tested with the help of a stakeholder panel.

Overall, use of the microsite was fairly high immediately following results days in 2018 (between 15 August and 25 September), with a number of media and other organisations drawing on the site’s blogposts, analysis and charts in their coverage of the results.

Latest on this project


  • Dave Thomson
    Education Datalab
  • Philip Nye
    FFT Education Datalab

  • Cheryl Lloyd
    Programme Head, Education
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

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