Recent changes to GCSEs – including tougher exams and a new grading system – have led to a slight widening of the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates, according to new research published by the Sutton Trust today. About Manchester reports.
Making the Grade, by Professor Simon Burgess from the University of Bristol and Dave Thomson of FFT Education Datalab, finds that during the period of the reforms, test scores for disadvantaged pupils fell slightly compared to their classmates, by just over a quarter of a grade across nine subjects.
Under the previous system, 2% of disadvantaged pupils achieved the top grade of A*, whereas just 1% now achieve a 9. The drop is less for non-disadvantaged pupils, falling from 8% achieving A* to 5% achieving a 9.
James Turner, CEO of the Sutton Trust, said: “Our research tells us that the changes have likely had a small impact on the attainment gap, with disadvantaged pupils losing out by about a quarter of a grade across 9 subjects. It will be important that the government monitors carefully the long-term impact that the reforms may have.”
Read the full article GCSEs reforms have led to widening attainment gap according to new research
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