HMC General Secretary, William Richardson says large-scale concerns about the English GCSE and a high proportion of AQA re-grades needs to be addressed

3 November 2017
Posted by HMC Press Office

Concern surrounding the reformed English GCSE has only intensified since exams were sat in the summer students received their grades. TES highlighted this week that the number of schools that have seen many pupils’ marks jump up significantly following re-marks has fuelled more anxieties about the consistency and quality of the marking. In addition to these concerns there is signs of an emerging shortage of English teachers, with suggestions that the curriculum changes may be deterring pupils at studying English beyond GCSE level.

With the added difficulty of the new GCSE English curriculum, as well as the government appearing to push for more  students to study STEM subjects, rather than the arts, with these seemingly providing increased future job prospects,This summer, A-level entries for English dropped by 11.1 per cent for English language and literature, 10.2 per cent for language and 4.7 per cent by literature.

General Secretary of HMC, William Richardson, says large-scale concerns about the English GCSE and a high proportion of AQA regrades needs to be addressed.

At this stage, the exact proportion of successful challenges across the country is unknown. But Richardson is expecting “a big spike” for GCSE English, which he argues has been “deficiently marked”.

“These rumours are sufficiently widespread for Ofqual to say something about this exam,” he adds. “It has been sapping confidence in this qualification among people in the education community.”

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