Colleges make the grade with GCSE resit success

The TES is reporting that with less than a week to go until results are published for the largest ever cohort of students resitting GCSE English and maths, colleges could be forgiven for approaching next Thursday will some trepidation.

This is the first year that it has been a condition of college funding that students who have not yet achieved a C grade or better in English and maths must retake the subjects. In June, TES revealed that the number of entries for GCSE English and maths in colleges this summer had increased by 40 per cent to top 200,000 for the first time.

Last year, the A*-C pass rate in both subjects across 17-plus students was just over 35 per cent. Not surprisingly, this was significantly lower than the figure recorded in schools.

But new analysis of the results by TES reveals that some colleges with sizeable resit cohorts recorded grades that would be the envy of many schools. Data for the 109 colleges where more than 100 learners took GCSE English last year shows that 39 colleges beat the national pass rate.

Last month, the Education Endowment Foundation launched a £5 million fund to research ways of improving the outcomes of students who fail to achieve a C grade in English and maths.

“While it’s fantastic to see colleges across the country delivering strong resit results for those who weren’t able to achieve this at age 16, too many young people will still leave formal education next week without a grade C in these core subjects,” chief executive Sir Kevan Collins told TES. “If we are serious about creating a consistently excellent system, we have to identify what has worked for these successful colleges and support others to improve.”

More at: Colleges make the grade with GCSE resit success

What do you think colleges are doing to create such high pass rates? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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  1. There was a time when a GCSE C was a sign of above-average attainment.  Now it’s regarded as the basic.  But if C is now the new basic, what’s the point of having lower grades?   And why do reformed GCSEs contain numbered grades which will be regarded as ‘poor’.
    It’s a long way from Keith Joseph’s original and humane idea that GCSEs would show what a pupil knew, understood and could do from basic (G) to truly exceptional (A – there was no A* when GCSEs began).  Instead, schools and colleges are judged on GCSE results – this was never Joseph’s intention.

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