GCSE re-sit entries up by 40%


The number of GCSE English and maths resits in colleges has topped 200,000 for the first time this summer, with entries up by 40 per cent from last year, reports the TES.

Figures compiled for TES by the Association of Colleges reveal that there were 235,400 entries for GCSE English and maths in colleges, up from 166,570 last year.

This is the first year that it has been a condition of funding that students who have not yet achieved a D grade in English or maths should retake the subject.

The AoC has warned that the move to new, tougher GCSEs could lead to re-sit numbers rising by another fifth.

The new GCSEs will be graded from 9 to 1. While grade 4 will be linked to the grade C standards, a grade 5 will be the new benchmark for a “good” pass.

However, for 2017 and 2018, students who achieve a grade 4 will not be required to retake their GCSE. Some colleges may choose to offer resits to these students even though it will not be obligatory to do so. Modelling by the AoC suggests that entries in English and maths could rise by between 15 and 20 per cent once those resits become compulsory.

Figures from Ofqual published in April showed that the number of all post-Year 11 entries in GCSE maths, including those at colleges, increased by 35 per cent from 130,000 in 2015 to 175,000 in 2016, while entries for English and English language increased by a third to 123,000 in 2016.

The new AoC figures suggest that the rise in entries in FE colleges has been even more pronounced.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: “Numeracy and literacy are non-negotiable for success in later life – by requiring students who don’t master the basics to continue studying towards GCSE English and maths qualifications, young people are given another chance to succeed.”