14 Days Remaining

Thursday 25th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Conrad Landin
Industrial Reporter
TORIES have been rushing in new exams in an “incoherent and ill-considered way,” teachers said yesterday as schools prepared for this year’s final round of old-style GCSE results.
Girls were predicted to maintain their hefty lead over boys in 47 out of 49 subjects today, with analysis of predicted grades by the University of Buckingham suggesting a 15 per cent lead in English.
It is the last time that students will be graded from A* to G for all subjects — with new numerical grades and new courses being brought in from next year.
Under the new system, top-performing students will be given a grade nine, while the poorest marks will warrant grade one.
Teaching union NASUWT said the shift marked “the most substantial reform in a quarter of a century to the key general qualification.”
Union general secretary Chris Keates said: “Whatever view is taken of the new GCSEs, it is clear that their implementation has been rushed, poorly thought through and undertaken without meaningful consultation with the teaching profession.
“The late release of exam specifications and other key information about the new GCSEs has created excessive and wholly avoidable burdens on already overstretched teachers and school leaders.
“The rationale for these reforms has never reflected the evidence about the effectiveness of existing GCSEs and has been characterised by unsubstantiated and misleading assertions that these qualifications had been increasingly dumbed down over time.”
Commenting on the projected results, Buckingham Professor Alan Smithers said: “The results this year will be very close to what they were last year, but the increase in people repeating maths and English could lower the top grades slightly because these candidates are more likely to be aiming for a C.”
TUC learning and skills programme Unionlearn meanwhile called on adults without core skills expected by employers to take exams through their unions.