Tara Porter

The lost children of education

Subjecting the ‘forgotten third’ of those who fail maths and English language GCSE to multiple resits only causes further mental distress and disenfranchisement, writes Tara Porter. Instead, we should value every child’s contribution

The lost children of education

Despite the best efforts of teachers, heads and schools, a solid third of children in each Year 11 cohort do not achieve the qualifications of maths and English GCSEs. These children are often referred to as “the forgotten third”.

Exams regulator Ofqual, wanting to keep the value of a GCSE roughly equal year on year, adjusts grade boundaries to provide consistency over time. So roughly the same proportion of pupils falls short of a grade 4 (that is: a fail) each year. Without full-scale exam reforms, this will continue, condemning roughly a third to failure every year.

Maths and English ...

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