60,000 students have missed out on a place at college after the government was caught rigging GCSE results to look ‘tough’ on Education.
Every year there is heartbreak and celebration on GCSE results day, but this year the future of thousands has been thrown into doubt by the government’s decision to move grade boundaries in the middle of the year.
Across the country we have seen abnormal results in the core subjects of English and science. One AQA combined English language and literature exam saw 70% of people achieve less than a C grade – basically a fail as far as the government or an employer is concerned.
However, the most shocking detail is that the biggest jump in grade boundary shift came between D and C grades, with one foundation
English exam requiring 10 marks more to achieve a C than in January.
Theories are out there as to why this is the case. Some blame the exam boards introducing new exams with stricter marking policies. This might be true – but why change the boundaries in the middle of an academic year? At a stroke the government has needlessly thrown tens of thousands more youth onto the dole.
Also worrying is the trend for more pupils to be entered into Foundation level exams, where the highest score they can get is a C. We think the emphasis should be on methods which raise the general level, rather than results-tables, which only serve to create a market in education.
Through tinkering with results, abolishing EMA and turning schools into private academies, the government has robbed thousands of young people of the education they deserve.
The NUT (teachers union) is calling for industrial action which is good but not enough. Students need to get organised and fast, our own union the NUS won’t stand up for us but school students have taken militant action before – if these occupation, boycotts and walkouts are big enough, they can win.
But what should we fight for? Our campaign needs to go beyond the safe, government and school imposed limits. Teachers are speaking up to save their careers, ministers are lying to save their careers, now young people need to fight for ourselves. We should fight for victories which can bring real concrete benefits for school and college students.
We stand for:
- All students to be re-graded according to the original boundaries
- An investigation run by teachers and students into the links between exam boards and government
- Sack Gove the Education Minister and Gibb the schools minister
- The creation of student assemblies independent of school management
- Bring back EMA, give a living grant to all students, funded by taxing the rich who can afford it.
- End minimum wage discrimination, invest in training and jobs for young people