Angela Rayner has said that students would be able to study other Level 2 qualifications in English and in maths, such as functional skills, instead of GCSEs.
Speaking to the annual conference of the Association of Colleges, Ms Rayner said that the party would end the compulsory resits for post-16 students – which have been unpopular across the sector.
Currently all full-time students who fail to secure at least a grade 4 – or a C in the old-style GCSE – in maths or English must resit the qualification if they want to study at a school or college.
Students have had to retake either maths or English multiple times since the policy was brought in by the Coalition government – which has led to criticism over its impact on students’ wellbeing.
She said: “We won’t just make sure that FE has a voice. We will also listen.
“So I can announce today that we have listened and we have heard. A Labour government would end that requirement.”
Julian Gravatt, deputy chief executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC), welcomed Labour’s position on English and maths GCSE retakes.
“Colleges have long called for flexibility in how to support learners to achieve this. A one-size fits all approach has not worked and does not work.”
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