This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from UK statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from UK statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other UK-specific metadata information.
Completion rate for primary and lower secondary education is used. For upper secondary education completion rate a proxy for GCSE attainment at KS4 (in state-funded schools) is used.
United Kingdom for completion rate, England for KS4 Achievement
|Unit of measurement
Primary and lower secondary education completion rate is measured as the gross intake ratio to the last grade of lower primary/secondary education. It is calculated as the number of new entrants (enrollments minus repeaters) in the last grade of primary/lower secondary education, regardless of age, divided by the population at the entrance age for the last grade of primary/lower secondary education.
GCSE attainment is the percentage of pupils achieving grade 4/C or above in English and maths GCSEs in state-funded schools.
No calculations were performed in the data acquisition of this indicator as appropriate data was readily available in the final format specified by this proxy indicator. For insight into the details of potential calculations please refer to the original source methodology information.
There are many reasons why the primary and lower secondary completion rate can exceed 100 percent - the numerator may include late entrants and overage children who have repeated one or more grades of primary education as well as children who entered school early, while the denominator is the number of children at the entrance age for the last grade of primary education.
This indicator displays data related to the proportion of entries at GCSE level achieving a pass grade, which means the proportion of entries achieving a grade C or above from years 2009/10 to 2015/16 and a grade 4 and above from 2016/17 onwards. However, the Department for Education (DfE) recognises the need to to continue to raise standards in English and maths. As such, the DfE class a grade 5 and above in English or maths as a ‘strong pass' and report the percentage of pupils achieving grades 5 or above as its headline school performance measure for English and maths attainment.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, summer exams were cancelled in 2020. Pupils scheduled to sit GCSE and A/AS level exams in 2020 were awarded either a centre assessment grade or their calculated grade using a model developed by Ofqual. The new method of awarding grades has led to a set of pupil attainment statistics that are unlike previous years. The 2021/22 academic year saw the return of the summer exam series. As part of the transition back to the summer exam series, adaptations were made to the exams (including advance information) and the approach to grading for 2022 exams broadly reflected a midpoint between results in 2019 and 2021. Given the unprecedented change in the way GCSE results were awarded in the summers of 2020 and 2021, as well as the changes to grade boundaries and methods of assessment for 2021/22, users need to exercise caution when considering comparisons over time, as they may not reflect changes in pupil performance alone.
For more information please visit DfE KS4 2019/20.
This indicator is being used as an approximation of the UN SDG Indicator. Where possible, we will work to identify or develop UK data to meet the global indicator specification. This indicator has been identified in collaboration with topic experts.
|Data last updated
|23 March 2023
|Metadata last updated
|06 April 2023