In recent years, changes have been made to the grading systems for GCSEs in the UK.
Despite the changes, the government stated that the minimum requirement that all students had to receive at least a pass mark (C grade or a 4 in the new numerical system) in both their English and maths GCSE exams.
However, some argue that this regulation does not take into account students’ varying abilities, and how exam conditions may affect their performance.
This Tuesday, the Labour Party announced new alternative plans for students and colleges alike, should they come to power. Rather than take GCSE exams in the core subjects, students will be able to choose different types of qualifications rather than repeatedly re-sitting their maths and English exam until they obtain a pass mark.
These alternative qualifications will allow students to make progress with their maths and English skills, without embarking down the GCSE route.
These plans have been introduced as a result of growing concerns by experts in the education sector at the number of students who retake their exams each year, with few who fail to improve their marks.
General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders Geoff Barton comments: “It’s absolutely right that students should be able to retake these important qualifications if they choose to do so. But there is no point in compelling large numbers of students to keep resitting qualifications with diminishing results. It is demoralising for both them and their teachers and puts an intolerable strain on scarce resources.”
With this new approach, the Labour Party aims to put the students before anything else, considering their aptitude for some subjects, and trying to offer as many possibilities for them to succeed and have a full and well-rounded education.
Julia Gravatt, the deputy chief executive of the Association of Colleges’, “Colleges have long called for flexibility in how to support learners to achieve this. A one-size-fits-all approach has not worked and does not work.”
At BYT, we are in full agreement that each student is different, and should be taught in a manner that best fits their learning style. We strongly believe that all students should leave education with the necessary skill sets to embark on a fulfilling life, both in work and in their personal lives.