ATL comment ahead of the GCSE results

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Press release
24 August 2017 by ATL Media Office
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), comments on reforms to the exams system ahead of today's GCSE results.

Commenting, she said: “The Government’s calamitous, rushed through reforms to the exams system have put extreme pressure on pupils taking their GCSEs this year. We can only hope pupils aren’t put at a disadvantage after being used as guinea pigs.

“The haste with which the exam reforms been have rushed in has not given schools enough time to prepare and to get to grips with the changes. Teachers have not been able to predict their pupils’ results, and the information provided by exam boards about the standards expected was entirely inadequate. A lack of information about the new 9-1 grade boundaries has left pupils, parents and employers confused about what now constitutes a pass at GCSE.

“Young people have been let down by politicians – by Michael Gove for introducing the new GCSE system too fast, and by Nick Gibb for pushing the changes through.

“Gove’s reforms have left the current exams system in turmoil. The late accreditation of qualifications and late arrival of textbooks, plus the switch from modular to end of course exams, have all caused unnecessary additional stress and will have had an impact on the mental health of young people. We can only hope these disastrous reforms have not done too much damage by turning pupils off learning and harming their life chances.”


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