GCSE Shake – Up Leaves Many Schools Missing National Progress Targets

GCSE Shake – Up Leaves Many Schools Missing National Progress Targets

The first set of students have completed the newly reformed GCSEs. However, the results reveal that there has been an unfortunate number of schools who are missing out.

There have been reports from The Guardian, Education Executive and Academicis stating that around 370 schools out of 3,000 are due to fall below the standards set by the Department for Education.

Since the reform of some GCSE’s such as maths, English and science from A* – U to 9 – 1, this has resulted in nearly 1 in 8 secondary schools missing out on national progress targets for pupil’s progress.

Last year alone 288 schools had failed to reach the government’s standard for pupil progress – meaning that pupils are achieving half a grade lower than the national average. The number of schools beginning to under achieve have actually increased – from the result of the new reformed points system.

The Disappointing EBacc

There are also reports of the government being disappointed in the number of pupils who have under achieved in their results from the English Baccalaureate. This has seen a decline in results achieving the EBacc, falling to just 21% of pupils.

Some people have blamed this decline on schools “pushing” students into a certain pathway and students not having the best opportunity to strive in their own personal achievement and goals for their career.

The decline in the up-take of the EBacc has also suggested that students do not want to take a modern language – which is usually French, German and Spanish.

This could be due to students being more attracted to creative subjects, via the Government’s new performance measure system – Progress 8. This is a new measurement tool where students can take up to three creative subjects out of eight – which is very different from the EBacc.

If you would like to know more about Progress 8 – there are some previous blogs that explains everything and we do also have an eBook that you can download.

Has This Affected Pupils Taking A Levels?

Fortunately, this decline has not pushed pupils away from taking A Levels.

The national data for England shown that these figures have remained stable and 192,400 of the 740,000 entries from pupils this year received excellent grades achieving A* or A!

This excellent number of high achievers are mainly students from independent schools with 17% of the entries receiving A* grades compared to a lower figure of 7% from state-funded schools.

However, this year has seen another steady decline in entries for AS levels to 40%. This may be due to the Government making A levels more linear and making students take all their exams at the end of two years.

Overall, I think that we should give a chance for some schools to catch up with the newly reformed GCSE’s. As this is the first year of the new reform – we cannot compare fully on the success or failure of these new GCSE’s.

As there is quite a lot of uncertainty regarding the new courses and Progress 8 now making its way into schools, it may take a few years for students to start getting these new courses under their belt and achieving as best as they can.

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