Proportion of pupils gaining 5 good GCSEs decreases drastically

The proportion of teens gaining five excellent GCSEs which includes English and maths has dropped substantially, it has been revealed, largely as a end result of changes to exams.

In total, 52.6% of pupils in England gained 5 A*-C grades this 12 months, down from the 59.2% who achieved the exact same benchmark last 12 months, according to official statistics launched by the Division for Schooling on Thursday.

This year’s figure represents a huge drop, but much of it can be place down to structural adjustments of the examination method, such as the stripping out of 1000’s of vocational qualifications and the new policy of only counting a student’s 1st try at a GCSE.

The statistics suggest, nonetheless, that using final year’s methodology, about 56% attained at least 5 Cs, such as English and maths.

The education secretary, Nicky Morgan, welcomed this year’s benefits saying: “More and more younger people taking the substantial-good quality topics that will correctly prepare them for life in contemporary Britain.

“With record numbers taking science at GCSE and maths now the most popular topic at A-degree our strategy for training has finally reversed the decline in key academic subjects.”

The government introduced the alterations to the examination program since of concern that too numerous schools had been getting into pupils for GCSEs a number of occasions or relying on bad high quality vocational programs in an attempt to inflate grades.

But the adjustments imply some colleges could dip under the government’s official baseline targets, which could end result in an academy consider-above or closure. Schools need to have at least forty% of their pupils to obtain 5 great grades to steer clear of becoming placed on a government checklist of people which are underperforming.

In state schools, 55.9% of pupils scored five A*-C grades, such as in English and maths, this 12 months employing last year’s methodology the figure goes up to 59.six%. In 2013, 60.6% of state-educated pupils reached this benchmark. State colleges seem to do much better than the all round figures due to the fact of the effect of IGCSEs, which are favoured by private colleges and do not count in these measures.

The figures also show a rise in the quantity of pupils being entered for the government’s English baccalaureate, a measure used in college league tables that recognises pupils who have scored at least a C at GCSE in English, maths, science, historical past or geography and a foreign language.

Virtually two-fifths (38.seven%) of state college college students took all components of the EBacc this yr, up from 35.five% in 2013. And 23.9% of teenagers attained the EBacc, compared with 22.8% final year. There is also a widening gender gap, with girls outperforming boys. Total, forty.eight% of ladies entered for all of the EBacc subjects, compared with 31.seven% of boys. Last yr, the gap was 8.7 percentage points.

The schools minister Nick Gibb stated the figures should “inspire confidence” in the examination system and would supply a far more exact image of requirements. He said: “You may feel it odd for an training minister to extol the virtues of a drop in the national pass rate of individuals attaining the benchmark number of GCSE passes.”

But, writing in the Every day Telegraph, Gibb additional that the country necessary “to be positive that the qualifications which youthful individuals review are of the highest possible quality, and that they function for younger men and women, not politicians”.

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