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Funding cuts ‘jeopardising’ students’ GCSE chances

by Conrad Landin

Industrial Reporter

FUNDING CUTS are “jeopardising” students’ chances, teachers said yesterday as GCSE results saw a record drop in grades.

Just 66.9 per cent of entries were awarded a pass at grades A* to C. The drop of 2.1 percentage points on the previous year was the biggest since GCSEs began in 1988.

Girls were ahead of boys across all subjects at A* to C by 8.9 percentage points — the highest since 2002.
This year’s results are the last in which all subjects will be given grades between A* to C, with a new numerical system being brought in from next year alongside new courses.

Labour shadow education secretary Angela Rayner congratulated students but said the “sharp and unprecedented fall in pass rates” was worrying.

“This should serve as a wake-up call for the Tories that their constant chopping and changing to assessment and the curriculum is leaving an almighty mess in our schools,” she said.

“Theresa May needs to sort out this department which is badly letting down students, teachers and parents who have continued to work hard in very difficult circumstances.”

The results also showed a fall in entries to creative subjects such as dance, art and music.

National Union of Teachers general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “The school funding and teacher recruitment and retention crisis … is the tip of an iceberg of resourcing problems.

“The government’s new funding formula, postponed until 2018, isn’t going to address the financial shortfalls facing schools. Funding pressures and accountability reforms are jeopardising students’ access to broad, motivational and engaging learning opportunities.”

conradlandin@peoples-press.com

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