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GCSE resits: is a school-based approach best?

As the sector grapples with ever-larger cohorts of GCSE resit students, many colleges choose to employ teaching approaches very different to those of schools. The hope is that this fresh slant will re-engage disaffected learners. But some think the opposite is true and use familiar strategies such as streaming and a two-year programme of study – both more commonly found in secondary classrooms. George Ryan investigates

Back to the future car

When English and maths teachers meet their GCSE resit class for the first time, they will know very little about their new charges.

But there are some common experiences that many of the learners share, says Diana Martin, vice-principal at Dudley College.

“They’ve sat an exam, often on multiple occasions,” she says. “They know what it feels like to be a failure at GCSE English or maths. They can do some aspects of the GCSE, but they may struggle with other aspects. It’s a certainty that they’ve probably forgotten much of what they’ve learned up to June. Many don’t have a positive attitude ...

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