IGCSE grade drop leaves schools ‘in utter shock’

The TES is reporting that Schools have warned of “devastating” consequences after results plummeted in an English language IGCSE taken by almost a third of 16-year-olds in England this year. 

Headteachers told TES that they were in a state of “utter shock” at the results, published last week ahead of yesterday’s main GCSE results. They fear the outcome could unfairly threaten jobs and lead to forced takeovers of their schools. 

In some cases, the proportion of students gaining an A*-to-C grade is almost 20 percentage points below expectations. The falls have prompted calls for an investigation into the results. 

But Roderic Gillespie, assessment director at Cambridge International Examinations, said standards had been maintained year on year, adding that this year’s results were relatively stable at a national level, given the huge increase in entries. Results could fall or rise in individual schools in line with changes in cohorts, he said…

Read the full article in the 21 August edition of TES

More at: IGCSE grade drop leaves schools ‘in utter shock’


Like the maths GCSE article yesterday, it is hard to know quite how to make sense of this story when the overall results are apparently stable. 

I guess the significant increase in entries could be a factor here, but why would there be such volatility in individual schools? 

Please give us your reactions and insights in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Secondary.


  1. MarcusMatters

    SchoolsImprove It was only a matter of time. The IGCSE was supposedly slightly ‘less challenging’. There will be a major backlash #unhappy

  2. frdragonspouse

    SchoolsImprove GrahamBett that would explain some unexpectedly low grades among my Y10’s Eng Lit cohort. Predicted A*s; Got Bs and As.

  3. Nick5307

    SchoolsImprove schools were using this to “game” English as it includes speak and listen and more coursework included. WAS seen as easy.

  4. StephNeill

    SchoolsImprove How can we prepare students to pass exams if year on year the standard required is not the same. How is that fair?

  5. Dai_James1942

    SchoolsImprove run by Cambridge University, lapdogs of government who are skilled at manipulating norm-referenced assessment.

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