With GCSE Results coming out tomorrow, we have received some comments which discuss both the positives and the negatives of this year’s Results Day’s.
News that the BTEC results chaos will affect level 2 results with some students not receiving their grades tomorrow has emerged, but also some good luck messages to those anxiously waiting.
Bridget Phillipson MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, responding to news that BTEC results chaos will affect level 2 results with some students not receiving grades tomorrow, said:
“The chaos around BTEC results is absolutely unacceptable. It’s appalling that students are still waiting on results from last week, and now we’re told some young people won’t get their grades tomorrow.
“Instead of getting a grip on the situation we’ve had virtual silence from the Education Secretary. Our zombie government is content to sit by as our kids’ futures are threatened.
“We need to know what ministers are doing to resolve this right now.”
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“Our best wishes to all pupils picking up their GCSE and VTQ results on Thursday, and to their teachers who have worked phenomenally hard to support them during these past two very challenging years of the global pandemic. As with A-levels, GCSE grades will be generally lower than last year when exams were cancelled and a different approach to assessment was used, but they will be higher than in 2019 when exams last took place.
“The fact that grades will be lower than last year is no reflection on the performance of pupils but the result of a decision by the government and exam regulator Ofqual to begin returning grades to the 2019 standard in two steps, with a midway point between 2019 and 2021 this year before a full return to the 2019 standard planned next year.
“Schools and pupils have been affected to varying extents by the pandemic and the consequent disruption to learning, and it is likely that results will reflect these turbulent circumstances and will be uneven. Where infection rates have been high across the last two years, it is likely to have resulted in more staff and pupil absence, in addition to the periods in which schools were closed to most pupils. Despite the best efforts of schools to support pupils with remote education and to plug learning gaps, this situation will inevitably have had an impact on learning. Schools have not been helped by the government’s lacklustre and chaotic support for education recovery. It is important to understand this year’s results at school and pupil level in this context and we would urge Ofsted and Regional Schools Commissioners in particular not to rush to judgements.
“The main purpose of GCSEs is to aid progression to post-16 education and training, and the vast majority of pupils will be able to take their next step as planned. Where pupils are disappointed with results we would advise them not to panic but to speak to their teachers about the range of options available to them. There are many excellent courses in colleges and sixth forms which will suit their aspirations and interests.
“It is worrying to see that the number of GCSE entries to several creative arts subjects, as well as design and technology, have fallen this year – part of a long-term decline in these subjects. This is driven by government performance measures which favour traditional academic subjects at the expense of other subjects, and funding pressures which make small classes difficult to sustain.
“Schools now face huge extra cost pressures because of rising energy costs and pay awards for which there is no additional government funding. This will make it even more difficult to sustain small-entry subjects and there is a danger that some of these subjects will largely disappear from the state education system and become the preserve only of families who are wealthy enough to afford private schools and clubs. The government must make state education a priority and fund it properly.”