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Record fall in GCSE pass rate ‘down to reforms’

Mandatory resits and Progress 8 blamed for slump in grades

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GCSE results yesterday endured their biggest fall in the qualification’s history, as the proportion of A* to C pass grades dropped to 66.9 per cent.

But it is unlikely that this slump can be explained by exam regulator Ofqual’s clampdown on grade inflation, or any sense that this year’s candidates were less intelligent than their predecessors.

The signs are that the drop in grades is linked to two government reforms: a new requirement for pupils to resit GCSEs in English and maths if they do not gain a grade C in Year 11, and the introduction of a new school accountability measure, Progress 8 ...

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