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This microsite provides analysis of national GCSE and A-Level results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 2016 to 2021. The data has been sourced from the Joint Council for Qualifications. The Nuffield Foundation has provided funding for the development of the site.

There has been substantial policy change at both Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 during this time. All three nations have reviewed their curriculum and adopted different approaches in response. These changes affect comparisons between the three nations, and comparisons over time within each nation - this site is designed to highlight where these changes are having an impact.

Read the guide to using this site


Exam entries and grades awarded

JCQ (GCSE, AS-/A-Level)

Exam entry and attainment data is sourced from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), a membership organisation for the eight largest awarding organisations in the UK.

Each year in August, JCQ publishes the aggregate results of A-Levels and GCSEs delivered by its members. The data published is provisional - results may subsequently change due to appeals and remarks. Comparisons to previous years on this site are similarly based on provisional results.

Dates of reform

England: Ofqual (GCSE, AS-/A-Level)

Wales: Qualifications Wales (GCSE and AS-/A-Level)

Northern Ireland: Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (GCSE, AS-/A-Level)

EBacc subjects (England only)

Department for Education (eligible qualifications)

Progress 8 subjects (England only)

Department for Education (double-weighted subjects)

Change in 16-/17-/18-year-old population

Office for National Statistics (mid-year population estimates)



  • Funding: Nuffield Foundation
  • Design: Philip Nye, Geoff Solomon
  • Data, blogposts: Philip Nye, Dave Thomson
  • User testing (2018): Kat Cole (The Beacon School), Kathryn Cruickshanks (St Ursula‚Äôs School), Paddy McGrath (London Academy), Amy Sippitt (Full Fact), Steve Wren (Tadcaster Grammar School), Jerry White (City College Norwich) and others

The Nuffield Foundation

The Nuffield Foundation is an independent charitable trust with a mission to advance social well-being. It funds research that informs social policy, primarily in education, welfare, and justice. It also funds student programmes that provide opportunities for young people to develop skills in quantitative and scientific methods. The Nuffield Foundation is the founder and co-funder of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and the Ada Lovelace Institute. The Foundation has funded this project, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation. Visit | @NuffieldFound