More pupils choosing to take their GCSEs early

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The Independent Online

More than 100,000 entries for this year's GCSE exams were from children aged 15 or younger, more than twice the number from last year, the results show.

More than 100,000 entries for this year's GCSE exams were from children aged 15 or younger, more than twice the number from last year, the results show.

The figures appear to indicate that a growing number of pupils are being fast-tracked to take their exams at least a year early. Last year figures showed more than 30,000 pupils took their GCSEs at least a year early.

While today's figures account for entries rather than candidates, education experts say "fast-tracked" pupils are likely only to take one or two exams early – so the figure of more than 112,000 early entries indicates a rise in those sitting GCSEs early.

Ministers are encouragingbright pupils to skip GCSEs in the subjects they are doing well in and go straight to AS-levels. But advisers said the figures showed they were still sitting all their GCSEs, while taking one or two early.

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