More pupils taking GCSEs earlier, says Market Research For Education Regulator Ofqual

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2nd August 2013 12:21 - Education

Recent figures released by BBC Watchdog reveal that there were more pupils taking GCSE’s earlier than the usual 16-year-old age group. In GCSE maths, the number of younger students rose five percentage points last year to just over a fifth (23%), whilst GCSE English saw an increase of three percentage points to a tenth (11%).

Ofqual, the regulating body for qualifications, examinations and assessments in England, reported that schools are entering teenagers for GCSEs early, or multiple times, in order to secure good grades.

Russell Hobby, National Association of Head Teachers, said:

“Every school must increase results each year, while the regulator must ensure that results do not go up each year. This is both illogical and unsustainable”

More than a tenth (15%) of students taking maths GCSE last summer – about 90,000 in total -  sat at least one paper GCSE maths paper.

Chief regulator Glenys Stacey, suggested that multiple entries are being used as a “tactic” to help students obtain a grade C or above, and that there is often a “fine balance” between helping students and demotivating them.

Additionally, figures show that the number of IGCSE maths entries has increase from 34,000 in 2012 to 45,000 this year. Whilst the number of English language entries has increase four fold – from 18,000 to 78,000.

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