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GCSEs 'too easy'

England risks sliding into "mediocrity" if it fails to tackle falling exam standards, the head of the Royal Society of Chemistry has warned. Dr Richard Pike said he had been shown maths GCSE papers taken by teenagers last week by teachers concerned that the exam was too simple. It comes just days after Dr Pike called for the nation's awarding bodies to be fined if they fail to stick to guidelines on standards.

An Edexcel spokeswoman said maths and science qualifications are developed according to guidelines set out by the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority and it would be "inappropriate" to fine exams boards for following them.

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