A*-C grades in dramatic decline as GCSE results are published

A dramatic fall in country wide GCSE consequences is the largest for the reason that exam changed O-degrees, with the proportion of scholars who won a C grade or above dropping by a remarkable 2.1 percent factors – which includes a pointy decline within the numbers gaining a C or above in English.

The falls are due in large part to new authorities rules that pressure 17-12 months-olds who got a D or lower in English or maths remaining year to resit those assessments, which means more college students universal had been sitting the checks.

However even among students sitting their exams in yr eleven, the traditional GCSE year, the proportion gaining A*-C grades become down via 1.three percentage points.

The national figures showed a large growth in those elderly 17 or over taking the exams, pushed by way of the authorities’ policy in England of requiring retakes. The Handiest round one in four of these retaking the 2 center topics won a C or above, which professionals said called into question the wisdom of the coverage.

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Mark Dawe, former head of the OCR examination board and leader executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, bluntly attacked repeated retakes as counter-efficient.

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“Definitely this is proof enough that hitting college students over the top with the same shape of Getting to know and assessment is not the manner ahead,” Dawe said.

“Maths and English are the maximum critical skills for monetary and social mobility However these effects show that repeating the identical workout doesn’t paintings.”

Kevan Collins, leader government of the Education Endowment Foundation, agreed with Dawe that better techniques have been needed to improve the talents of sixteen-18-year-olds who failed GCSEs.

“Definitely maintaining the ones teens in obligatory Education for any other 12 months isn’t sufficient to make certain they go away with the capabilities they’ll want,” Collins stated.

But Nick Gibb, the schools minister, defended the policy, pronouncing: “For the ones 17-yr-olds who have struggled to attain right grades in maths, we’re seeing 4,000 extra a hit retakes of those checks, delivering higher potentialities for each one of those young humans.‎”

Gibb stated he was pleased to peer rises somewhere else in the percentage of students taking greater instructional topics, which appeared to be most outstanding in sciences, with schools moving away from entries into alternative Btec qualifications.

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There have been slight falls inside the numbers gaining the best A* qualification, for the fifth 12 months in a row, at the same time as the proportion of sixteen-year-olds gaining A* or A fell by using 0.6 percentage factors.

Falls in English and maths have been some most shocking. The general proportion of pupils getting A*-C in English plummeted 5.2% to 60.2%, and maths suffered a drop of 2.three percent factors for grades A*-C.

The autumn within the number taking GCSE English – approximately 2 hundred,000 lower than the variety taking maths – appears to have been the end result of more faculties coming into students for the iGCSE English examination, an opportunity qualification not covered in those figures.

Figures posted with the aid of examination regulator Ofqual, combining the consequences in each GCSEs and iGCSEs, found out that the net effect became grades Best slightly lower than preceding years.

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There has been a small growth in the percentage of A* grades in English, up 0.2 percentage factors to three.3%, However again A*-A turned into down with the aid of 0.nine% to thirteen%. Maths at A* was additionally down zero.four percent factors, and 0.6% for grades A*-A.

There have been great drops within the*-C share for several subjects, consisting of computing (down 4.7 percent factors), technological know-how (-3.eight), records (-three), geography (-2.eight) and maths (-2.three).

“There may be an extensive movement on this 12 months’s entries, which influences on consequences and creates a totally complicated countrywide photograph,” said Michael Turner, the director of the Joint Council for qualifications, which represents the blended examination forums.

“We see shifts now not Most effective among subjects But throughout qualifications and yr companies. That is pushed by several elements, including performance measures and resit rules in England.”

The gender hole in examination effects elevated slightly, by 0.5%, with seventy-one.three% of girls’ entries provided at the least a C grade in comparison with 62.4% of boys’.

Girls additionally outperformed boys in accomplishing the very top grades, with 7.nine% getting an* in comparison with 5%, although each noticed a slight decline.

In England on my own the*-C bypass rate dropped from sixty-eight.8% in 2015 to sixty-six.6%.

Northern Eire – wherein Education is ruled via grammar colleges, the problem of debate in England – bucked the countrywide trend with a rise in A*s and As in addition to an upward thrust within the headline bypass rate to 79.1%.

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Wales managed to hold consistent with a bypass charge of 66.6% – for you to come as some comfort after final week’s disastrous A-level results.

The abrupt falls in England come as a surprise, due to the fact grades for yr 11 students are set consistent with a manner known as comparable results, which links them to the overall performance recorded via the identical cohort of scholars once they sat key stage 2 exams 5 years in advance.

The use of comparable results has ended the fees of grade inflation that accompanied the boom in bypass charges in view that 2000. The percentage of GCSE grades presented has fallen in any respect stages from their peaks in 2011.

For the first time schools will now be rated in step with a new performance measure, referred to as Progress 8, which charts how nicely pupils completed in comparison to their friends nationally based on their key level 2 checks. It replaces the government’s previous degree, the proportion of students attaining C or better in 5 GCSE topics including English and maths.

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School-stage consequences underneath the new Development eight degree will now not be available until the Department for Training releases its reliable calculations later this 12 months. It will be posted along any other metric, Attainment eight.

This year’s consequences mark the closing of the Present day layout of GSCEs for maths and English, to be able to be replaced subsequent yr via tests graded on a 9-1 scale, with extra rigorous content. Other subjects will get replaced over the following years.

Kevin Courtney, the overall secretary of the countrywide Union of Instructors, said there were a few troubling developments within the results, specially the drop in entries for innovative arts topics as colleges conformed to the government’s “prescriptive” English baccalaureate (Ebacc) requirements – a Faculty performance measure.

“Teachers have been confronted this yr with the creation of much less handy syllabuses, which includes cuts to course work and no oral detail in English,” he stated.

“Similar practices are actually being prolonged to Different subjects and could reduce the opportunities for college students to show what they could do.”

Most of the impartial schools celebrating the consequences in their pupils changed into King’s College Faculty in Wimbledon, south-west London, where three college students every done 14 A*s. Ordinary, ninety six% of the £20,000-a-yr College’s entries received A*s or As, barely fewer than in 2015.