1. Home
  2. FFT Aspire
  3. Information
  4. 2021 GCSE Benchmarking Service

2021 GCSE Benchmarking Service

We’re running the FFT Benchmarking service again this year in the absence of GCSE examinations. The service will support you in statistically validating and benchmarking your teacher-assessed grades before submitting the results to exam boards in June.

Guidance documents


Access your reports

Use the links along the top of the screen to access your reports.

Frequently asked questions

What grades should I use for my teacher assessed grades?
You can use any WHOLE grade from 1 to 9. Please DO NOT use decimals (e.g. 7.5) or +/- (e.g. 5+) as these will not pass the Aspire validation routine.
What do I do about Combined Science?
For Combined Science, please use two grades (e.g. 44, 54, 66 etc.). Please DO NOT leave a gap (e.g. 4 5 ) or insert any other characters between the digits (e.g. 3-3, 3/4) as these will fail the Aspire validation routine.
What do I do in the case where a pupil is assessed as ungraded or a fail?
You can use a U grade. Please use a ‘0’ (zero) for F and X – otherwise your file will not pass validation for processing reports.
How do I know if my template is complete?
For every subject that you offer, every pupil doing that subject has a grade entered.
Can I add, delete or amend pupil details in my file?
Yes you can do all of the above. However, please ensure that all details are correct, especially the pupil’s Unique Pupil Number (UPN). If deleting rows for pupils you wish to remove, you need to select just the cells in the row and press the delete key. So the row will still be there, it will just be blank.
Can I add additional subjects or move/edit subjects in my upload file?
No, please do not add, remove, edit or re-order the subjects in the file. Your file will not pass the Aspire validation routine if you do and you will need to re-submit.
Can I upload more than one file for my school?
Yes, you can. Please note that we will only use your latest file each day to produce Benchmarking reports.
Can I upload individual subject files one by one?
We would advise against this, as you will then have multiple versions of reports. Please upload a single file with ALL your subjects.
I’ve uploaded my first file and have received my reports. If I want to upload a new file with revised grades is this OK?
Yes, you can upload a revised file and you will receive a new set of report. Include ALL your pupils/subjects in any revised uploads, even if the grades haven’t changed for the majority of pupils/subjects. This will give you a complete analysis of your results as well as up to date individual subject reports.
*If there are any changes to subjects, please revisit ‘step 1: Choose subjects’.
Can I submit data for my year 10 pupils? Can I enter put in last year’s data?
No, you can only submit provisional results for your current 2020/21 Year 11 cohort, included in 2021 Performance Tables.
I have a few current year 11 pupils with early entries. Can I include this data in the service?
If some students have sat their examinations already, you can include their grades in your submission.
Can I submit grades for BTEC/vocational subjects?
No, we are not offering analysis of non-GCSE subjects. There is no reliable way of converting one to the other in order to provide reliable GCSE grades.
Can you compare 2021 outcomes to another FFT rank, other than FFT50?
No, FFT50 is the median average across all schools. FFT20 and FFT5 would skew the analysis.
If I have an issue with my file, can I send it to FFT Support for help?
Please do not email files, with any pupil information, to FFT’s support team. They will have access to any files that have been uploaded to the Benchmarking service. They will endeavour to resolve any issues within 2 working days.
Why is my Summary report blank?
If data is only entered for one subject, or if very low numbers of grades are entered, then there is insufficient data to generate a Summary report. In order to get the full set of reports, we recommend uploading only completed templates for all subjects your school offers.
What should we enter for dual registered students?
You can submit teacher assessed grades for them if you wish. Within the Excel spreadsheet, you have the option of manually deleting/ adding pupils.
Updated on 7th May 2021

Related Articles