This year seems quite dramatic for pupils getting passes at General Certificate of Education. Their number has considerably fallen, though there was a huge number of students retaking the exams hoping to achieve a C. General Certificate of Education Grade results demonstrate that the amount of A-C grades has fallen 2.1%, which makes it the biggest decline since the introduction of the exams twenty five years ago.
The Alarming Trend
The falling grades in English, maths, languages and sciences are accompanied by a serious shakeup of policies in educational area during the last academic years.
The Joint Council for Qualifications states explains that the gender gap has slightly gained: 71.3% of girls and 62.4% boys have got at least one C grade. The biggest concern are math and English grades, which have fallen 2.3% and 5.2% respectively.
Reforms in Education
This situation is partly caused by the changes in the educational system. Pupils may not leave the school until they are 18 years old, also they have to get at least one C in math and English. This leads to a considerable increase in the amount of 17-year-olds, who enter for retake.
Overall there are just seventy percent of entries in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, which got from A to C. Such results are considered by schools to be “good”.
The Students’ Interest
Teachers are blaming the recent reforms in education made by the government, which pays more attention to English, science and maths than to foreign languages and creative subjects. They claim, that such policy has nothing to do with the students’ interests. This makes pupils study subjects which are really hard for them without working on subjects, in which they are interested. So, the students loose good career opportunities.
At the same time the Government is planning to make even more emphasis on maths, physics, foreign languages and English, although the schools haven’t got enough resources to support this initiative because of the teacher shortages. The experts say, many questionable changes have been made during the last ten years, so it’s time for the government to stop experimenting with existing system and to deal with the issues. The new changes haven’t helped pupils or teachers.
Another reason of the grades fall could be an increase of students, who apply for single science rather than many combined.
The Real Numbers
The overall pass rate and the number of A grades have also slightly dropped. This year only 6.5% of entries have got the highest mark. The fall in A-C grades is the biggest since 1988, this drop was unexpected.
The pressure is still directed at English, maths and science subjects, however, the entries for design, art, media and performing arts have fallen as well by 11.6% the previous year.
From next year the schools will not use the A-G grades, turning to the 9-1 score system in maths, literature and sciences. The new reform will end in 2018, rolling out another seventeen subjects.