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Government continues to require students to resit GCSE maths and English

Maths and English website.jpg

Despite suggestions of a change in the Government's GCSE maths and English resit policy earlier in the year, the 2017/18 funding guidance , confirmed that this was not to be the case.

Under the funding rule, introduced in August 2015, all 16 to 18-year-old students with a near-pass (previously grade D, now grade three) GCSE in maths and English have had to continue studying and resit the GCSE, rather than an alternative "stepping stone" qualification, such as a level two functional skills qualification (for those students receiving grades lower than a D (and now a grade 3), this option is available to them).

How the grade 3 or grade D requirement applies with respect to GCSE English qualifications held

If a candidate achieves at least a 3 AND 4 in EITHER new GCSE English examination (literature or language), regardless of the combination, that student will not need to re-sit the qualification. However, if they get a 3 for either (or lower and no 4) then the student will need to re-sit.

English Language GCSE grade held

English literature GCSE grade held

What student can and must study

9 to 4 or A* to C

9 to 4 or A* to C

Condition of funding met for English, no requirement to continue study of subject

9 to 4 or A* to C

3 or D

Condition of funding met for English, no requirement to continue study of subject

3 or D

9 to 4 or A* to C

Condition of funding met for English, no requirement to continue study of subject

3 or D

3 or D

GCSE only

3 or D

2 or below, E or below, or no grade

GCSE only

2 or below, E or below, or no grade

3 or D

See approved list of qualifications (eg. FS)

2 or below, E or below, or no grade

2 or below, E or below, or no grade

See approved list of qualification (eg. FS)

 

How the grade 3 or grade D requirement applies with respect to GCSE Maths 

Maths GCSE grade held

What student can and must study

9 to 4 or A* to C

Condition of funding met for Maths, no requirement to continue study of subject

3 or D

GCSE only

2 or below, E or below, or no grade

See approved list of qualifications (eg. FS)

 

NAHT had hoped to see the funding conditions for the upcoming year altered to put students' needs first –evidence suggests that, overall, catch-up success rates are poor - in English, only 34% of students who achieved a D at 16 managed to attain an A*-C or equivalent by year 13; in maths the figure is 24% (These figures are based on students who sat GCSE in 2012/13, began their post-16 education in September 2013 and took additional qualifications during the 2013/14 and 2014/15 academic years).  Forcing young people into a round of resits when the large majority fail can be extremely demotivating and disheartening; possibly resulting in further disengagement with the subject. The most important outcome is that students have the necessary numeracy and literacy skills to continue their education or training, and for many students, alternative level 2 qualifications may be a more appropriate means of achieving this.   

We will continue to press the government to recognise the need for change to a more sensible approach in future years.

The full funding regulations for 2017 to 2018 can be found here.

Page Published: 12/04/2017