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

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Change log


Vidal Rodeiro, Carmen 


Changes to the funding policy for 16-19-year-old students in UK state-funded schools and colleges and the reform of post-16 accountability measures are likely to have had an impact on entries for all types of qualifications in Key Stage 5, but in particular for GCSEs in English and Mathematics. The 2015/16 academic year was the first in which it became a condition of colleges' funding that students who had previously achieved a D grade in English or Mathematics should retake the qualification. As a result, the overall number of entries among students aged 17 and over increased. However, educational bodies across the sector have been recently calling for a change in the GCSE English and Mathematics resits policy.

The aim of this research is to contribute to the discussion on the GCSE English and Mathematics resits policy by investigating the uptake of GCSEs in English and Mathematics in post-16 schools and colleges in England, and the types of students who are more likely to improve their grades as a result of resitting the qualifications.



Examination statistics, Impact of assessment, GCSE/IGCSE

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Research Matters

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Research Division, Cambridge University Press & Assessment

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