Update on English and maths and ‘Grade D’

Ministers are disappointed that only 35% of students with grade D at GCSE are on GCSE English and maths programmes. Watch out for an announcement on this by the Secretary of State for Education on 23 June which could have an impact on your placing of students and success rates. Both departments are looking at whether functional skills remains the standard in apprenticeships. Other points of interest:
– Officials at BIS will undertake an analysis of the destinations of students on PGCEs this year that drew down a bursary.
– DfE are looking at whether iGCSE remains an equivalent qualification for 2017 performance tables.
– The Behavioural Insights team commissioned by BIS to look at engagement, success and motivation of young people and adults to improve their literacy and numeracy skills will undertake some trails and research in the Autumn. They are looking for volunteers.
– The new maths GCSE will have a bigger focus on problem solving and in Foundation on practical maths. They have deliberately avoided the use of the term ‘functionality’. In English GCSE, 20% of the marks will be for correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. There will be more focus on non-fiction texts.
– There will be no legacy GCSE for students who fail in 2016. They will have to take the new GCSE which is different in content, length and focus. We need to push further on this.

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