GCSE results – reaction, opinion and comment

GCSE results – reaction, opinion and comment

The TES had a very good analysis of the GCSE resit policy last week.

“The proportion of students aged 17 and above who achieved a grade C in the final legacy GCSE maths exams has fallen sharply, official figures reveal.”

“Out of the 149,537 older students across the UK who sat their legacy GCSE maths exams this summer, only 24.4 per cent managed to achieve a grade C or better – a drop of 5.1 percentage points compared with last year. Meanwhile, in English, 29 per cent of 17-plus learners achieved an A*-C pass, up from 26.9 per cent in 2016.”

The article continues: “Across all GCSE entries in English and maths, more than 211,000 students received a grade 3 in their exams, meaning that if they enrol at a college next year they effectively face a compulsory resit of their GCSEs.”

“After four years of putting students through GCSE resits, colleges can confirm that the policy does not work and is an obstacle to the ambition that we all share.”

So does the GCSE resit make any sense at all, Jonathan Shaw of the think-tank Policy Connect doesn’t think so.

“Our collaborative research has found that the policy has not benefitted learners or the economy at large,” Mr Shaw said. “The recurring cycle of resits dents the confidence of learners and does not encourage them to attain the skills and qualifications they need to succeed and thrive.

“We call on the DfE to implement a post-16 modular GCSE, or a functional skills GCSE with applied English and maths, for all learners instead. This would guarantee a skilled workforce moving confidently into the world of work, and contributing to the economy.”

Concerns about resits were also raised by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, which has called for the policy to be scrapped.

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