Today it was announced by the government that pupils that don’t achieve a Maths and English GCSE at grade C or above will have to continue with the subject until they are 18. They will either retake the Maths or English GCSE or, there will be an option to take other types of English and Maths lessons.
The decision came after research was revealed that only 21 percent of the 285,000 19 year olds who failed to gain a C grade in English last year went on to study the subjects after GCSE.
At Nuschools we are not sure what we make of the plan.
Is it the right thing to do? As achieving a C opens many more doors for the pupils future achievements and quality of life. If a pupil is immature or lazy at 16 they might mature and take exams more seriously second time round. Is it the responsibility of our society to help pupils achieve grades that they might otherwise not gain.
Or, is it forcing education upon those who have tried and below a C is academically there best. Vocationally they would be successful. Therefore, should it be their strengths albeit plumbing, hairdressing etc that should be concentrated on. Have we have become a University society, when actually there is a lot of money and need in those with a skill?
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock says the requirement to keep studying English and Maths is not about re-sitting the exams but about continuing to develop these essential skills. He went on to say: ‘For those who fail to get a C at GCSE, it’s a huge impairment to their future life, their ability to participate not just in work but also as a citizen.’
We are interested in hearing your opinion on the plan. Do you think recognising the central place of English and Maths skills is long overdue?