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Boards will rake in retake fees

One aspect of the proposed new multiple-choice science GCSE that seems not to have received the attention it deserves is that students will be allowed to retake the exams multiple times if they do not do as well as they expect.

As far as the awarding bodies are concerned, surely the main objective of this is to increase the total number of entries, thereby creating a great deal of extra revenue for themselves.

But the move will also create more work for examinations officers, stretch school budgets, overburden students and undermine the credibility of the qualifications, but clearly these are comparatively minor concerns.

With one of our leading exam boards owned privately and the others forced to compete with it for business, it is inevitable that they will find ways to maximise revenue, with the costs to those they are supposed to serve being merely incidental.

James Bench-Capon

41 Milton Road, Cambridge

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