The forgotten third…

A ‘forgotten third’ of students fall short of achieving a Grade 4 in GCSE English and maths because of our system of comparable outcomes. This has to change, says Geoff Barton in SecEd

Over the past few years it has felt like we have been looking backwards. The preoccupation with the EBacc and making GCSEs and A levels harder and more akin to old-style O and A levels has smacked of policy driven by nostalgia.

We thus find ourselves at the end of an unprecedented period of reform with an exam system which is harsh on students who struggle most with academic work, an accountability system which penalises schools in the most challenging circumstances, and a workforce which is exhausted, drained and demoralised.

A reasonable starting point for a brighter future is the work of a commission established by the Association of School and College Leaders to look at how we can improve the prospects of what we have termed the “forgotten third”. This is the proportion of 16-year-olds who each year fall short of achieving at least a Grade 4 in GCSE English and maths, and whose opportunities for progression in education and work are therefore constrained.

Read the full article The forgotten third… 

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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