Schools ‘playing the system’ to boost exam grades

A government investigation has revealed that schools in England are forcing youngsters to sit exams in the same subject as many as seven times – and it’s harming their education.

Last year the Education Select Committee asked the DfE to investigate multiple exam entries as part of its report into the exams system. Its new analysis has found that increasing numbers of schools are entering pupils for a series of exams in maths and English, but only registering the top score to improve their league table position, the Telegraph reports.

Many children take exams a year or two early and then resit them if they don’t get good enough scores, but some schools go to more extreme lengths. Some pupils sit the same subject with several examination boards in the same year to maximise their chances of high grades.

Last year about 4,500 pupils sat maths five times, up from 800 in 2011, and a further 400 took it at least seven times – four times more than the previous year. In many cases pupils took test papers in the same subject from competing exam boards.

The DfE report found that repeatedly sitting exams harms children’s education and a spokesman said: “We are increasingly concerned about this. The evidence shows that entering exams early, and then resitting, or sitting another exam in the same subject, is not good for pupils. The changes we have made to GCSEs and reforms to the accountability system will help address this.”

Are you aware of this happening at your school? Is the current system of league tables to blame?

2 thoughts on “Schools ‘playing the system’ to boost exam grades

  1. I am interested in knowing what is the best seat configuration for students and teacher’s desk? Is there a more efficient way?

  2. this happened in my school with my current yr 11s. only about 3 kids managed to get their maths so they were re entered in several exams for maths from differing boards. I remember they stayed until 5.15pm at one point.

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