Exclusive: Only two pupils will get straight top grades in new GCSEs, DfE adviser predicts

Prediction about scarcity of straight grade 9s exacerbates fears about increased pressure on top-performing pupils.


Just two pupils in England could end up achieving top grades in all their GCSEs under the new grading system, the Department for Education's chief analyst has predicted.


The government is gradually replacing the current A* to G grades with numerical grades, from 1 to 9 – with 9 being the highest.


Just 20 per cent of those who would have achieved A or A* under the existing system will be awarded a grade 9.


Responding to a tweet about the number of pupils who would get straight 9s, Tim Leunig, the DfE's chief analyst and chief scientific adviser, wrote: “2 is my guess – not a formal DfE prediction. With a big enough sample, I think someone will get lucky...”


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