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Y11 PARENTS: GCSE pass grade lowered to a 4

(55 Posts)
noblegiraffe Tue 28-Mar-17 16:38:13

In a last minute government u-turn, the government has announced that instead of a 4 being required to not resit maths and English for the first 2 years of the new GCSEs, it will be the requirement for the future too, it will never be raised to a 5.

They have also declared that the grade 4 will be called a 'standard pass' and the 5 a 'strong pass'.

This has huge implications for sixth form entry requirements and resits as some had already raised the bar to a 5 in anticipation. It also means that there will be less confusion in the future as DC compare for jobs against future cohorts as the resit requirements will remain the same.

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/603594/ESC_letter.pdf

tiggytape Tue 28-Mar-17 16:47:55

As the parent of a current Year 11 I suppose I am relived - somewhat

A grade 5 is equivalent to a high C or a low B.
If your child was predicted to scrape a B grade in a key subject then, under the old system, that was a pretty respectable result.
The new system would have awarded the same student a grade 5 - a good pass - which definitely doesn't have the same kudos attached to it as a grade B which is one above a pass.

And of course if your child was expected to scrape a C grade under the old system the original proposal was to give them a Grade 4 and stress it wasn't a proper pass. At least this way vast numbers of borderline C grade students won't suddenly be classed as having failed and at least the B grade students will get some credit for being ranked a little above a pass.

It still rubbish that they're tinkering with it at this stage though!

noblegiraffe Tue 28-Mar-17 16:51:52

God knows whether sixth forms which were requiring a 5 to study Geography for example will now be lowering it to a 4, or the ones that were requiring a resit for a 4 will now drop it.

Total chaos. Most kids already have their college places sorted, and they may have decided differently if this change had been announced earlier.

OddBoots Tue 28-Mar-17 16:52:06

Even more evidence this has all been rushed through without the proper groundwork and forethought.

TheFrendo Tue 28-Mar-17 16:59:44

fecking typical.

Not a bad decision, but could have been made at the start.

youarenotkiddingme Tue 28-Mar-17 17:04:17

That's a relief for many I should think. At least they know their 4 pass will be seen as equal to another's 4 pass above the next few years.

noblegiraffe Tue 28-Mar-17 17:24:11

www.tes.com/news/further-education/breaking-news/new-gcse-grades-cause-confusion-colleges-entry-requirements

I wonder what will happen now. Last minute changes to entry requirements?

noblegiraffe Tue 28-Mar-17 17:48:37

AND forced GCSE maths and English resits have been scrapped.

feweek.co.uk/2017/03/28/exclusive-dfe-will-scrap-forced-resits-for-gcse-english-and-maths/?utm_content=buffer60d92&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

noblegiraffe Tue 28-Mar-17 17:52:26

That appears to be forcing a GCSE resit has been scrapped, but students will have to study Functional Skills instead.

noblegiraffe Tue 28-Mar-17 18:18:52

With all this being announced the day before Brexit, I'm thinking that we will see the grammar school consultation responses published tomorrow.

noblegiraffe Tue 28-Mar-17 18:21:08

Oh FGS it continues. The Ebacc headline measure for the league tables will require kids to get a 5 in maths and English, but kids themselves will be deemed to have the Ebacc if they get a 4.

WTF is actually going on at the DfE? Have they gone mad?

www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/gcse-pass-grade-confusion-deepens-ebacc-requires-grade-4-pupils-grade

merlottime Tue 28-Mar-17 18:30:30

As the mum of a severely dyslexic son in Y11, this is great news. He may just about scrape a 4 in English, but a 5 is realistically beyond his reach. It would be devastating for him to reach the 4 and then for future employers to not recognise it as a pass.

PiqueABoo Tue 28-Mar-17 18:44:04

Consistency is sane.

1) For [whatever GCSE] a 4 is a pass, but the headline measure is based on 5

2) For an EBacc GCSE set a 4 is a pass, but the headline measure is based on 5.

They're not always my cup of tea, but McInnery has said a fairly sane thing or two. Including (of the separate 4 and 5 metrics):

In some senses, it’s not a bad idea as it will mean the measures are comparable. We can check if the ‘standard’ rate is better or worse over the next few years.

noblegiraffe Tue 28-Mar-17 19:09:22

But the standard rate is set so it is comparable to previous years. The notion that GCSE results represent some objective standard is false - the pass rate is pre-determined.

PiqueABoo Tue 28-Mar-17 19:35:39

The notion that GCSE results represent some objective standard is false

..and always has been. Educational magic does not satisfactorily explain how pass rate for grades A*-C increased from 40% in 1988 to 70% (approximations). Politics/ ideology/league-tables/cheating/whatever does.

But if you have the reference tests, the [standard|strong] pass rates can change if national performance improves. Not that I'm convinced that reference tests are without problems.

noblegiraffe Tue 28-Mar-17 19:41:15

Educational magic does not satisfactorily explain how pass rate for grades A*-C increased from 40% in 1988 to 70%

Because Ofqual didn't step in until 2012 to fix grade boundaries and stop grade inflation. Before then, exam boards would err on the generous side when deciding grade boundaries, in comparison to the previous year when they were generous based on the year before that and so on.

TeenAndTween Tue 28-Mar-17 19:50:17

Sense has prevailed (mainly).

AalyaSecura Tue 28-Mar-17 19:52:46

Bloody hell thats some u turn. Piss-up and brewery...

PiqueABoo Tue 28-Mar-17 20:00:04

I think there's much more to it than the lovely, kind exam boards being generous and then extra-generous from around 2005, but regardless it means that given set of results in one year do not equate to the same results several years later.

pointythings Tue 28-Mar-17 20:29:25

Well, I am relieved for DD2'sale best friend who is battling ADHD, dyslexia, depression and a completely unsupportive family, because she is in with a shot at passing now. But bloody hell, what an awful way to manage this.

Moussemoose Tue 28-Mar-17 20:37:06

I don't think it is a bad thing but it does seem that the total tosser gove (deliberate lower case) has managed to lower standards.

Ffs piss up and brewery indeed.

KittyVonCatsington Tue 28-Mar-17 20:48:51

So basically the government are saying a 4 is a standard pass and a 5 is a strong pass-their words. Completely wushu washy and still SLT will not be happy with a 4.

It's going back to the time Gove was quoted as saying he wants all schools to be above average.

He really has left a lasting cock up of a legacy.

noblegiraffe Tue 28-Mar-17 20:50:23

Remember what Nick Gibb said a couple of years ago?

"The higher standard is in line with the average performance in high-performing countries such as Finland, Canada, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It would not be possible to justify placing our bar lower than those of our international competitors ....
...Every teacher knows that it is only by holding – and sticking to – the highest expectations for young people that we provide them with the opportunity to succeed. These reforms deliver on our commitment to social justice, and represent a balanced plan to ensure that more students leave school equipped for a successful future."

But you bottled it, Nick.

schoolsweek.co.uk/we-were-not-prepared-to-accept-the-status-quo/

OddBoots Tue 28-Mar-17 21:40:04

The more I think about this the more concerned I get, if there are two tiers of pass then there will be employers that only accept the higher tier and there could easily be political motivation to make the higher pass a requirement to jobs such as teaching that have fixed requirements a few years down the line.

noblegiraffe Tue 28-Mar-17 21:49:43

Well I think there is one thing we can be certain of: The DfE have not thought the potential implications through at all and the true implications will only come out in time.

Though they have clearly thinking about this for a few weeks - that Ofqual advert about the new grading which didn't mention the grade 5 being a good pass was clearly fudged with this decision in mind.

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