Only results from first attempt at GCSEs to be included in league tables

In a major change, the Department for Education has announced that schools will only be able to include grades achieved at the first attempt in future GCSE league tables. This is from the Telegraph

The reforms will initially cover the core academic subjects such as maths, English and science before being extended to other disciplines.

It is intended to crack down on the practice of entering pupils for GCSEs a year or two early and taking multiple exams in the same subject to boost their grades.

Currently, many pupils are encouraged to take exams at 14 or 15 in an attempt to “bank” a C grade – considered a good pass – and then move on to other subjects in the final year.

It also gives teenagers more opportunity to retake the exam if they fail to do well at the first attempt, with some pupils sitting the same subject up to eight times.

But data shows that children who take exams at 15 or under are less likely to do well.

Just over half of early entrants gained A* to C grades in English last year compared with more than two-thirds of exams taken by 16-year-olds, it emerged.

The DfE insist that the latest reforms will put pressure on schools to only enter pupils for GCSEs “when they are confident the student has the best opportunity to succeed”.

…Under new rules, schools will be required to include pupils’ first attempt at a GCSE in their official rankings – shunning any subsequent exams taken in the same subject.

The change takes immediate effect for all subjects covered by the English Baccalaureate – a league table measure that marks out pupils with good grades in English, maths, science, foreign languages and history or geography. It covers the 2013/14 academic year and will affect next summer’s results.

The reforms will cover other subjects such as art, music, drama, design and technology, computing and religious education a year later.

More at:  Crackdown on schools that ‘cheat’ the GCSEs system

What do you think of this change in policy and what impact do you think it will have on schools’ approaches to GCSEs and re-sits? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This makes league tables even less relevant – why not include retakes? Especially as students have keep retaking Eng & Maths

  2. BramRaider

    SchoolsImprove Fine is they close the loop-hole that allows different exam boards e.g. June Y10 AQA, Nov Y11 OCR, June Y11 Edexcel.

  3. SianColbourne

    SchoolsImprove. Recognition must be given to pupils and schools who strive for success even if they take more that one attempt.

  4. PeterHutchinso5

    SchoolsImprove The ability to pass a test on the 1st attempt is no guarantee of better learning – which should surely be our main focus.

  5. SianColbourne

    SchoolsImprove, ‘If at 1st you don’t succeed, try & try again’ this will become ‘If at 1st you don’t succeed you’re in special measures’.

  6. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove if school has to be confident students are ready to achieve their best before entering them, then isn’t it a positive step?

  7. MsEnglish1515

    FionaTipper SchoolsImprove We know they have the skills and are ready but boards scale borderlines at random, difficult to predict outcome

  8. CarolElizabeth

    It is what is best for the child and they are not all the same – some need more than one go, others not so. Schools need to make decisions on this basis alone but I fear this policy will force schools to make decisions based on league table performance only.

  9. MattBryanscoob

    SchoolsImprove I presume the DVLA will soon be restricting Learner drivers to one attempt at the Driving Test#Gove

  10. MattBryanscoob

    SchoolsImprove apparently taking a test or exam more than once is cheating. Is it ? It used to be called resitting or retaking#Gove

  11. MattBryanscoob

    SchoolsImprove Police Sergeant Exams, Driving Tests, University exams, Accountancy Exams, solicitors exams all allow resits =cheating#Gove

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