English GCSE resits surge as overall number of retakes plummets

This month was the first opportunity for students to resit the reformed 9 to 1 maths and English GCSEs

Eleanor Busby

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The number of candidates resitting GCSE English this month has surged while the overall number of pupils retaking their GCSEs has dropped, new statisitics show. 

Exams regulator Ofqual has released new data for November GCSE entries today showing that there has been a 29 per cent increase in GCSE English entries.  

But overall, the number of GCSE resits fell by 19 per cent compared with November 2016 – bringing the overall entries in 2017 back into line with the entries in November 2015.

Last year, there was a spike in the number of GCSE entries, as November 2016 was the last chance for pupils to resit the legacy GCSEs. 

First chance to resit new GCSEs

This month is the first time that pupils have been able to resit the reformed 9 to 1 maths and English GCSEs.

Today's statistics show that GCSE English entries rose from 25,610 in November 2016 to 32,970 this month – but entries for GCSE maths fell by 41 per cent from 58,840 last year to 34,790.

All entries for the November GCSE are from Year 12 and above, as Year 11 students are no longer allowed to enter the November examination series.

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Eleanor Busby

Eleanor Busby is a reporter at TES 

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