GCSE results 2013: Major slump in top-grade passes revealed as more pupils take exams early
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Thursday 22 August 2013
A major slump in the GCSE pass rate is revealed today with the percentage of pupils getting five top grade A* to C passes suffering its biggest fall in the history of the exam.
More than 600,000 teenagers received their results this morning, as figures showed the pass rate had fallen by 1.3 percentage points to 68.1 per cent. A* grade passes were also down by 0.5 percentage points to 6.8 per cent.
The proportion of GCSEs awarded at least a C grade has fallen for the second year running, official figures from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) have revealed.
Exam boards pinned the blame for the slump on the rising numbers of 15-year-olds taking GCSEs early, with figures rising by 39 per cent. Their grades were 10 per cent lower than older pupils.
"What we're trying to say is early entry doesn't benefit the students," said Mark Dawe, chief executive of the OCR exam board. "Results are lower for them.
"These qualifications are designed for 16-year-olds."
Girls continued to out-perform boys, scoring higher results at A* and A*-C across all subjects.
A breakdown revealed English, maths and science results were all down. In English, 63.6 per cent of entries gained a C or higher, down from 64.1 per cent last summer.
This comes amid a rise in the number of younger students taking GCSE English, JCQ said. This summer there were 61,000 more entries for the subject and of these more than two-fifths (41.9 per cent) were from pupils aged 15.
In maths, 57.6 per cent of entries scored an A*-C grade, compared to 58.4 per cent in 2012.
There has been a 7.6 percentage point fall in the proportion of entries awarded a C or higher in GCSE science. The science fall was easiest to predict with physics, chemistry and biology all made harder this year.
The figures also showed a big rise in the number of candidates put in for multiple entries in the same subject as desperate heads tried to secure them a C grade pass in at least one to improve their school's ranking in league table.
However, the bright spot was a major increase in the take up of languages. Entries for French, German and Spanish were up 16.9 per cent largely as a result of the Education Secretary Michael Gove's new English Baccalaureate league table ranking.
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...