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Mind the gap between the GCSE haves and have-nots

Too many students are leaving education without a good standard of maths and English – which is why the EEF is launching a £5m research project

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I was visiting a school in East London to see for myself how they teach students resitting their maths GCSE because they didn’t achieve at least a C grade. I asked one of the young people for his verdict. “I can’t see the point,” he told me. “All I want to do is be a Tube driver.”

Out of curiosity, I visited a careers web page after I left. It turns out that the entry requirements for applying to become a driver on the London Underground include a C grade in maths GCSE. This student’s dream job depended on him getting a qualification he saw no point in.

The story illustrates a straightforward ...

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