Sir, The performance tables published by the education department last week are misleading and fail to paint an accurate picture of the achievements of England’s 16-year-olds.
Based on GCSE results in a minimum of five subjects graded A* to C, the tables include some (but, strangely, not all) IGCSE examinations. The education secretary has attempted to justify this by describing IGCSEs as “less challenging” than GCSEs. On the contrary, many leading independent schools choose to offer the IGCSE qualifications because they offer greater academic rigour.
Not so very long ago, the government was actively encouraging schools to pursue IGCSEs on the basis that they were more academically challenging.
Mrs SE Marks
Headmistress, Withington Girls’ School, Manchester
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