Which students benefit from retaking maths and English GCSEs post-16?


Research by Cambridge Assessment shows that 53 per cent of the students retaking GCSE English and 60 per cent of those retaking GCSE maths did not improve their grade.

Female students were more likely to improve their GCSE English grades than males, whilst the opposite was true for GCSE Mathematics, and students of high prior attainment were more likely than students of low prior attainment to achieve an improvement.

The research, published in the Spring edition of Research Matters, concludes:

“Although the policy of improving literacy and numeracy levels amongst school children and ensuring that all young people gain good qualifications in English and mathematics by the age of 19 seems to be a good idea, its implementation has perhaps not had the intended impact in practice.”

and goes on to say:

"There might be more fitting solutions or alternative pathways to enable students' English and Mathematics skills to develop further (e.g. high-quality Functional Skills qualifications or other qualifications relevant to the world of work)."

Read the report in full


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