GCSE pass rate to drop by 23% in 2017

(59 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sun 17-Jan-16 11:26:15

Latest anaylsis suggests that the GCSE pass rate for the new GCSEs could drop by 23% to about 35%.
schoolsweek.co.uk/gcse-pass-rate-could-drop-23-under-new-reforms/

This is when the good pass rate is set at a '5' which is a high C/low B.

The government has fudged it by saying that a '4' will count as pass for entry to sixth form, so any student who gets a 4 will not need to resit maths and English post-16; they'll only be screwed in later years when they try to apply for jobs alongside those who did have to resit till they got a 5.

I know the new performance measures will be 'Progress 8', but I don't know whether schools will still be publishing their headline A*-C inc Maths and English figures and if so, whether it would be the 4 or 5 that counts. Anyone else know?

noblegiraffe Sun 17-Jan-16 12:01:11

Further reading suggests it will be Maths and English 5-9 instead of A*-C.

So schools will be judged on the number of grade 5s. Wonder what that will do to floor targets.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sun 17-Jan-16 12:17:22

worrying, for many kids passing maths and English is already a real struggle.

drivinmecrazy Sun 17-Jan-16 13:15:23

It is very concerning. I have a very able yr10 DD who will be sitting the new grading exam. Luckily she is coping with the new ramped up maths curriculum. But I have a yr6 DD who is already struggling with the new expectations. I have just spent an hour helping her with her maths homework, which my DD1 took one look at and said 'no way!' Am hoping by the time DD2 sits her GCSEs they will have sorted it out (or more likely she will be hit by other changes) I foresee lots of heartache and struggles as she enters yr7, already having sleepless nights worrying how she will cope sad

AbsoluteBeginners Sun 17-Jan-16 13:35:15

I have no idea.

How likely is it that schools might switch to igcses, which I think are immune to govt tinkering, or is that just as bad as new gases in that they are final exam grades?

Disclaimer: I'm just a confused y9 parent, and my DC will get some guidance in the next couple of weeks, but I know that their school currently offers a mix of igcses & gcse.

AbsoluteBeginners Sun 17-Jan-16 13:36:10

Gcses, not gases...

noblegiraffe Sun 17-Jan-16 13:39:56

Schools are unlikely to switch to IGCSEs because they won't count in the league tables until they've been reformed to be comparable to the new GCSEs.

decisionsdecisions123 Sun 17-Jan-16 15:19:56

Its all doom and gloom.

noblegiraffe Sun 17-Jan-16 15:59:50

This is the tip of a very doomy and gloomy iceberg, tbh.

enderwoman Sun 17-Jan-16 16:20:48

I have a y10 and y8. It's just a fucking joke. Changes to the curriculum should be applicable to Reception and below.

My y8 has been picking GCSE options and will end up with fewer GCSEs than my y10. I'm guessing that's because some subjects will require more slots of teaching now that they are harder.

Bolognese Sun 17-Jan-16 17:38:24

Its definitely a good idea to try and push up standards.

noblegiraffe Sun 17-Jan-16 17:57:11

I don't think anyone would disagree with that, Bolognese.

This, however, is not pushing up standards, this is rushing through a poorly-thought out and untested exam system and failing a cohort of children.

I expect when future cohorts do better the government will claim a success in 'pushing up standards' when in fact a lot of improved results will be down to teachers having enough information and time to teach the new syllabus properly.

cressetmama Sun 17-Jan-16 19:37:19

GCSE have been downtuned and grades inflated for so many years that it will take ages for standards to rise. We saw this recently when I looked at DS's A level maths book and went, I recognise that (Fibonnacci triangle) from about Y8 O level. I only got a grade 6 at the second attempt!

enderwoman Sun 17-Jan-16 19:44:07

I think it's fine to push academic children but what about children at the other end? The children who won't make the grade need qualifications or experience that will help them in life especially as they need to be in education or training until 18. I don't know if BTECs are acceptable or varied enough as my children will probably be following the GCSE/A level route. Can they cope with this theoretical 20% rise in applicants who will switch from GCSE ? I assume that some children struggle with BTECs. What do they do until 18?

enderwoman Sun 17-Jan-16 19:47:05

I agree that the constant retaking of GCSEs culture had to stop. It really devalues how serious GCSE exams are if you can retake multiple times.

noblegiraffe Sun 17-Jan-16 19:50:57

cresset Just because you saw Pascal's triangle in Y8 (and many will these days too, it has lots of lovely patterns) it doesn't mean that you were doing the same maths with it in Y8 as your DS in Y12 (probably binomial theorem).

noblegiraffe Sun 17-Jan-16 19:57:18

ender you need to tell that to the government who have introduced compulsory retakes for maths and English GCSEs.

Retakes mostly stopped a couple of years ago, when it was decided that only the first attempt would count for league tables, and modules were scrapped. This isn't about that, that was pretty much already sorted.

bojorojo Sun 17-Jan-16 20:37:48

The Sunday Times articles says that Michael Wilshaw believes that grades 5-9 will be "world class", so a 4 is not really a fudge. It is a respectable result. David Kaws wants 8 GCSEs to be the measure of success against which schools are measured. However that suggestion has not been taken up yet.

BTECs are a reasonable route into work for young people who cannot do A levels and there are also be apprenceships, which need beefing up in my view. I feel it is really difficult for the young people just coming up to GCSEs as there are so many unknowns. However, I think most know change was overdue.

stampedingthefields Sun 17-Jan-16 20:41:16

I don't feel there is anything wrong in demanding academic qualifications are made more academic.

However, there also needs to be a viable alternative for those unable to access the academic curriculum.

noblegiraffe Sun 17-Jan-16 21:01:31

bojo the accepting the 4 for the first couple of cohorts is a fudge. The pass grade is set at a 5. They will accept a 4 for the first couple of cohorts in terms of not having to resit in sixth form because they know that colleges would be overwhelmed with resit students (they are already overwhelmed, tbh and a 23% increase would be completely unmanageable). They aren't accepting the 4 because they think it's acceptable, but because they know they've bodged the introduction of the new standards, lots of students will fail to meet them, and they aren't prepared to deal with the consequences of that failure properly.

pieceofpurplesky Sun 17-Jan-16 21:25:24

I am teaching the new system. Year 10 English. You would be more scared if on the inside! No grade boundaries, limited information, lack of examples etc. It's like driving a car with no knowledge of road safety.

At least when everyone else joins in next year (apart from maths) the system should be in place a bit more but I doubt it.
It scares me that so little thought is put in to the education of all pupils rather than just implementing a system that stretches the top few.

The books and poems chosen show an antiquated and elitist attitude to a subject I love. I want to share that and develop pupils who love to read. Sadly they don't trust teachers to select books that actually appeal to the children they teach. Jekyll and Hyde? Pride and Prejudice - great books but not for all teens.

Devilishpyjamas Sun 17-Jan-16 21:31:51

Year 9 here - seems to me no-one knows what they're doing.

Oh and a year 6. Facebook had some 'example style' SATS questions (English). Were they for real? They were dreadful - pointless testing of obscure points of grammar. Even latin isn't taught in that way now. It reminded me of English teaching in japan 20 years ago (not a compliment - students didn't learn to speak a sensible word of English under that system).

drivinmecrazy Sun 17-Jan-16 22:47:45

Gosh! The more I read the more I weep! I feel as though DD2 is being set up to fail. I don't expect a free pass or any allowances made (for my late August baby who loves school but loathes learning ) but I do hope for her to have fair access to education . Not sure that's really going to be the case if things carry on in the direction they are going. I'm really struggling with the thought of the next few years.

PiqueABoo Sun 17-Jan-16 23:04:09

"The books and poems chosen show an antiquated and elitist attitude to a subject I love. ... great books but not for all teens."

Are you really saying that schools, presumably state ones at least, should deny a great book to children who can cope with it because some other children can't?

pieceofpurplesky Sun 17-Jan-16 23:15:24

No pique hence the fact I said 'not all teens'

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