Independent schools attack attempts to “move the goalposts” on GCSEs

Independent schools attacked attempts to “move the goalposts” on GCSEs today as figures showed the number of privately-educated teenagers with A grades dropped quicker than the national average. This is from the Telegraph…

Headmasters warned that pupils’ attempts to get into the most selective universities could be put at risk following a sudden fall in the proportion of top marks.

Figures show that children in independent schools are still significantly more likely to secure the best grades at the age of 16.

But it emerged that the proportion of exam papers awarded at least an A fell more sharply than in state schools this year.

It prompted bitter criticism of GCSE marking and fuelled calls for a major overhaul of the flagship qualification.

Data published by the Independent Schools Council showed that more schools are already dumping GCSEs altogether in favour of the alternative “International GCSE” taught in countries overseas and numbers are likely to grow further in 2013.

According to today’s figures, some 60 per cent of GCSE and IGCSE exams taken in 564 schools were graded A or better this year – down from 61.4 per cent a year earlier. Nationally, the proportion fell by 0.8 per cent.

It was also revealed that 31 per cent of test entries received an elite A* grade – a drop of 0.4 percentage points. This compared with a 0.5 percentage point fall nationally.

C grades in fee-paying schools also fell more sharply than the national average – down by 0.8 percentage points to 94.4 per cent.

A Daily Telegraph league table published today showed that the top schools continued to record strong results. More than nine-in-10 exam entries at 17 schools were graded A* or A, it emerged.

But many of the very best schools saw their share of top marks drop in 2012 compared with 2011.

It comes amid continuing controversy over marking in this year’s GCSEs, with concerns that the number of points needed to secure good grades had been suddenly inflated in key academic disciplines such as English.

Many independent schools also raised concerns over GCSE marking in English literature and history.

More at: Private schools: examiners ‘moved goalposts’ on GCSEs

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Categories: Private Schools and Secondary.

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