Attainment 8 measures a student's average grade across eight subjects – the same subjects that count towards Progress 8. This measure is designed to encourage schools to offer a broad, well-balanced curriculum.
The eight subjects fit into three groups:
- English and maths. These are double-weighted, which means they count twice. There are rules around how English and maths qualifications are added to this group and how to count them: see the Department for Education's Progress 8 page.
- English Baccalaureate (Ebacc). These are the highest scores from the sciences, computer science, geography, history and languages.
- Open group. Any remaining GCSEs and other approved academic, arts or vocational qualifications.
Calculating Attainment 8
A student’s Attainment 8 score is calculated by adding up their points for their eight subjects and dividing by 10 to get their Attainment 8 score. Students don't have to take eight subjects, but they score zero for any unfilled slots.
GCSE qualifications from 2017
Points are allocated to GCSEs on a 9 to 1 point scale corresponding to the new 9 to 1 grades, eg a grade 9 gets 9 points in the performance measures.
Unreformed, legacy GCSEs are mapped onto the 9 to 1 scale (with 8.5 being the maximum points available for unreformed GCSEs) – see the table below.
The school's Attainment 8 score is the average of all students' scores.
Discounting: how to add points when qualifications overlap
Once a reformed GCSE is awarded, that's the only GCSE or equivalent qualification for that subject that can count in the tables.
If a student takes an AS and a GCSE in the same subject, the AS points will always discount the GCSE points.
There's more detail in our video below and on the DfE’s Progress 8 and Attainment 8 guidance pages.
Points for unreformed GCSEs
2017 and 2018 points