Downside School Tops the League

Downside School’s A Level results are at the ‘top of the league’ in Somerset for the second year running, as announced by the Department of Education (DfE) today.

Downside is a top performing school in a top performing region, and, nationally, Downside tops the table for Catholic co-educational independent schools.

One national trend shows that single sex schools are outperforming co-educational schools; Downside bucks that trend by matching the national average of girls’ schools in points per A Level entry.

Each January, the DfE release a full analysis of data submitted by the examination boards the previous summer; the statistics are considered to be the most reliable assessment of the performance of schools across the country.

“Downside’s excellent performance in these league tables once again illustrates its exceptional academic achievement. The high quality academic culture delivers success for pupils of all levels of ability. While this is certainly not all we do, given our Christian ethos of service and our extra-curricular success, it is pleasing now to celebrate once again the hard work and achievement of teachers and pupils, as reflected in these results.” explained Head Master, Dr James Whitehead.

The Director of Studies, Daniel Gibbons was equally delighted with the news, “2016 marked an excellent performance showing our commitment to ensuring success in subjects that are most valued by the top universities”. 

The metrics are based upon the performance of A Level candidates in two measures

1. Average point score per academic entry 

The total point score achieved by all pupils and divided those pupils’ total number of entries. For example, an A* is worth 60 and an E is worth 10.


Fig. 1: Somerset’s Top A Level Results (source: Somerset Live). Downside leads with average points per entry.

2. AAB with two facilitating subjects 

The percentage of A Level pupils achieving 3 A Level grades at AAB or higher of which at least 2 are in ‘facilitating subjects’ (i.e the academic subjects required for Russell Group entry).


Fig 2: Downside leads in Somerset with 37.3%. 

Open Day at Downside

We host regular Open Days at Downside if you want to take a closer look for your child. Please call 01761 235100 or email admissions@downside.co.uk for details.