Teachers have expressed shock at the decision of OCR exam board to withdraw its film studies GCSE not long before pupils were to begin studying the course.
It notified schools this week that they would not be offering the subject in September.
In a statement, the exam board said: “We regret the loss of any subject from our qualification portfolio.
“However, feedback from centres suggests take up of this qualification would be insufficient for OCR to appropriately deliver and support it.”
Christine Norton-Berry, joint head of film and media studies at King Edward VI School in Suffolk, said that she and her colleagues had already spent months planning and reading for the OCR course.
And, because it was the school's first year running a film studies GCSE, she had also spent a significant amount of money purchasing films for the course.
"It's two weeks before we break up," she said. "To have done lots of preparation and lots of work, and then to have to start from scratch again. It's – well, 'unacceptable' doesn't quite cover it.
"It's shocking. We were appalled by the way OCR handled it. We assumed that, once a course was accredited, it was running, whatever the uptake. How did they not realise sooner that enough people hadn't signed up for September?"
'Hours of work'
Other teachers have taken to Twitter to express similar outrage.
@OCR_Media_Film disgusted that GCSE Film Studies has been dropped. Resources and films purchased to teach the content.— Ben Taylor (@ben_taylor22) 6 July 2017
We are left with two weeks to prepare a whole new course with a different exam board. A joke. OCR's embarrassing summer continues.— David Gower (@david_gower83) 6 July 2017
Some schools start teaching GCSEs in May! Luckily for us we went with Eduqas.— FilmStudiesRUS (@RUSFilmStudies) 7 July 2017
A spokesperson for the exam board said: “We let schools and colleges know as soon as we could, in order to give teachers who expressed an interest in the new GCSE as much time as possible to make alternative plans.”
With the withdrawal of the OCR course, the only exam board offering GCSE film studies is Wales-based board Eduqas.