More students taking soft GCSEs

June 18, 2007 4:30 PM

Today the Telegraph reports that the number of students passing five good GCSEs in English, maths, science, a modern language and history or geography has fallen from nearly 44 per cent to 28.6 per cent.


This is symptomatic of an education system that responds to government targets and league tables instead of the interests of students. While students would take more benefit from studying more challenging subjects that are better respected by universities and employers the education system focuses far too much on its single metric of ‘number of students getting five A*-C grades’. While students choose their subjects, schools facing an urgent need to improve their league table performance can persuade or pressure them into choosing the easier but ultimately less rewarding route.

Today the Telegraph reports that the number of students passing five good GCSEs in English, maths, science, a modern language and history or geography has fallen from nearly 44 per cent to 28.6 per cent.


This is symptomatic of an education system that responds to government targets and league tables instead of the interests of students. While students would take more benefit from studying more challenging subjects that are better respected by universities and employers the education system focuses far too much on its single metric of ‘number of students getting five A*-C grades’. While students choose their subjects, schools facing an urgent need to improve their league table performance can persuade or pressure them into choosing the easier but ultimately less rewarding route.

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