Teachers call for end to ‘inappropriate’ post-16 GCSE resits

The TES is reporting that teachers have urged the government to scrap rules requiring pupils to resit GCSEs in English and maths if they do not get a C grade.

The NASUWT’s annual conference in Birmingham this week passed a motion calling for an “alternative pathway” for pupils who were “unable to achieve” C grades in the tests.

Since August, government funding for post-16 student places has been conditional on pupils retaking GCSEs in English and maths if they do not have a C grade.

It means this will be the first summer in which all of those pupils have to retake GCSEs in the subjects…

But Stella Ucheobi, a teacher from Birmingham, told the conference that 65 per cent of pupils who resat the tests in 2014-15 had done so “in vain” because they had not scored a C.

She said some pupils were dropping out of post-16 study because of the requirement to retake the tests…

“GCSEs have been foisted on to our D-grade learners and they’re viewed as more equal than other maths and English qualifications. How must that make our students feel if they have failed to get a C time and time again?” she said.

More at Teachers call for end to ‘inappropriate’ post-16 GCSE resits


Do you agree with Stella Ucheobi or see a role for these mandatory resits?

If there is an “alternative path”, what do you think it should be?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Should it not be a choice – stats would suggest “choice” is the way forward. MPs aren’t keen on choice; don’t trust public

  2. peterabarnard

    SchoolsImprove Hey…but that’s the system. Measures determine purpose. Schools 100 year mission is to separate and limit.

  3. irvingphil

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove alas, most kids I get (6fc) have been poorly taught in secondary & would opt against a resit that they need.

  4. andylutwyche

    irvingphil SchoolsImprove But if they resit not having the basics sorted they will fail ad infinitum. Can 6th forms afford to teach them?

  5. irvingphil

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove we do teach them. Hence save 6fcs! School 6th forms less effective – maybe cos same teachers? Same prejudices?

  6. andylutwyche

    irvingphil SchoolsImprove Fair enough but I know that not all do teach them as they don’t have the staff/funding.

  7. andylutwyche

    irvingphil SchoolsImprove Main issue is that there are not enough decent maths (or English?) teachers around which would negate the issue

  8. irvingphil

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove most 6fcs have done for years – always been mandatory so staffing priority. Of course some better than others

  9. irvingphil

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove there’s an interesting argument in guardian re how introducing 6th forms into academies will exacerbate this

  10. andylutwyche

    irvingphil SchoolsImprove guardian Interesting; again it boils down to staffing & begs the question of why 6th forms are being £ squeezed

  11. irvingphil

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove guardian the latter Q in particular. Suspect it has to do with budgets (ie funding streams)

  12. irvingphil andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Resit based on assumption grades D-G are ‘fail’.  But D-G are Level 1 and not a fail.  Should be up to pupils whether to retake and decide what they ‘need’.

  13. irvingphil andylutwyche SchoolsImprove The assumption that those who don’t get a C have been ‘poorly taught’ puts teachers off having bottom sets – too risky.   None of my Set 4 pupils achieved a C in English/English Lit GCSEs.  Guess that makes me a poor teacher.

  14. VictoriaJaquiss

    Absolutely agree. There’s a range of grades so students can find themselves there. Not everyone is academic, why pretend they are – just dooming them to a life of failure. On the other hand I got appalling A level grades. I should have resat, but instead I chose another university subject [I’ve got over that now, but that was probably stupid].

  15. thiskidsthinkin

    There are alternatives to GCSE for Maths and English. Some people may find these easier to manage then GCSE (EDL being one example). Same way BTEC is same grade level as A-Level!

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