The Department for Education (DfE) have confirmed that learners who do not achieve grade 4 or grade D in GCSE English and Maths will have to re-take the GCSE again (as per the current system). There has been a strong lobbying presence in the sector to reverse this, or to change the GCSE re-take to Functional Skills instead. Today, the DfE have confirmed that the GCSE re-take will remain.
So how has the sector responded?
Catherine Sezen, Senior Policy Manager for 14-19 and Curriculum at the Association of Colleges (AoC), said: “AoC had hoped to see the funding tolerance continued and will be speaking to Department for Education officials to discuss future steps.
“Our response to the Industrial Strategy consultation has reiterated why the funding condition in its current form is not the best way to achieve our shared goal of ensuring every young person has the necessary grounding in English and maths at the start of adult life.”
Paul Warner, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), said: “We’re extremely disappointed. A Functional Skill Level 2 is equally indicative of ability as a GCSE Grade C/4. If the government is serious about enabling young people to actually get on top of these core subjects, it needs to recognise that they learn in different ways, and an insistence on GCSE reinforces the barriers between modes of assessment that it is otherwise happy to try and break down elsewhere under its technical education reforms.”
Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at Learning and Work Institute, said: “Nobody disagrees that all young people should meet a standard in English and maths which gives them the best chance at further learning and a good job. That is the ultimate test of any policy. GCSEs are a widely recognised and understood qualification. But retake after retake is not the answer.
”I support calls for more clarity and flexibility for learners which includes high quality alternative English and maths qualifications which have the confidence of learners and employers. We should have the highest ambition for all learners.”
What do you think?