NEU comment on GCSE results

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), said: “Congratulations to the students and teachers on achieving their results today, even with the issues with this years’ grading.

“Today’s results confirm that the DfE must abandon the delusional expectation that 90% of children will take the EBacc. Teachers and leaders, who know their pupils better than Ministers ever could, continue to reject the policy, and EBacc entries are now declining.

“This year it has been impossible for teachers to predict their students’ results because of a lack of certainty in the new 9-1 grade boundaries. By design, success is being rationed and fewer people have received the top grade of a 9 than used to receive an A*: we are already hearing that students who were hoping for the highest grade have been disappointed to receive an 8, as they no longer see themselves as one of the highest attainers. As well as impacting students individually, this could lead to a substantial increase in requests for papers to be re-marked.

“This year only 24% of 17-year-olds passed maths, and 33% of the cohort passed in English Language. Overall, the number of students who passed maths has dropped by 2.8 percentage points, and by 2.4 percentage points in English. The Government must acknowledge that their policy to force 17-year-olds to re-take English and maths until they obtain a pass grade (4 or above) is not in the best interests of students. It is a policy which is clearly not working as less than a third are passing their re-sits.”


Press release
23 August 2018