Schools should be 'fined' if pupils fail get C at English and maths GCSEs, think-tank says

Roger Titcombe's picture
This suggestion was featured in the Independent of 25 August.

Most schools teach GCSE maths in ability sets. Set 1 has a higher C grade pass rate than Set 2 and Set 2 higher than set 3 etc. Why is this? Obviously the lower set teachers either are not trying hard enough or are not good enough, so why not make deductions from their pay for each sub-C grade in order to provide a bonus for the Set 1 teacher who so obviously deserves it?

But the national C grade pass rate for retakes at 17 is actually much lower than that for 16 year-olds, despite the students having studied maths for an extra year! So there must be a mistake here with the proposed fining policy. Surely it should be the FE Colleges that should be fined with the money passed to secondary schools to enable them to employ better teachers for their lower sets.

Talking of mistakes, why do we have a GCSE exam system that has grades D - G at all? If you include U that's five ways for pupils not to get at least grade C compared with only four ways for getting C or better.

Anyone with the slightest grasp of probability theory can see that that must be the root of the problem.

No wonder so many pupils are failing. Why have grades less than C at all if they are the cause of such bad teaching that schools should be fined if students get them?

Brian Lightman, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders put it all down to money and cuts in budgets. He seemed to be suggesting that all that was needed to ensure that every student gets at least C grade in maths and English was to give schools (and their School Leaders) oodles of extra cast.

Wouldn't you believe it - these Trade Unions are all the same; they just want more money for their members - just increase the pay of non-teaching Executive Principals and their Assistant Executives and problem solved.

Thank Goodness we still have the Policy Exchange founded by Michael Gove to put us right.

I am sure these Academy Chains have got the right idea. The sooner they take over all our schools the sooner sub C grades (like smallpox) will be eradicated for ever.
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