“Congratulations to students and their teachers for all the hard work they have put into achieving their GCSE results this year, despite the chaos created by the rushed in reforms.
“This year it has been impossible for teachers to predict their students’ results because of a lack of certainty in the new 9-1 grade boundaries. We are already hearing that students who had expected to receive a 9 (A* equivalent) have been disappointed as they have received a 7 or 8. As well as impacting students individually, this could lead to a substantial increase in requests for papers to be re-marked.
“We suspect that the fall in A*-C grades (equivalent to grades 9-4) reflects the impact of the Government’s ill-thought-out policy to push all students to do the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects. The EBacc has absolutely decimated the opportunity for students to choose subjects that could enable them to succeed and is denying them access to a wide range of vocational courses that they would be better suited to. And although entries in EBacc subjects at GCSE increased overall by 9%, the number of non-EBacc subject entries, eg. art and design, design and technology, engineering and drama, continues to fall, this year by 7.7%. This is a substantial narrowing of the curriculum and is already having a serious impact on the learning and career options open to students.”