GCSE results day 2021 - AoC responds

12 Aug 2021

In response to today's GCSE results, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, David Hughes said:

“Congratulations to all students receiving their GCSE, vocational and technical Level 2 results today and a huge thank you to their teachers in schools and colleges who have worked so hard to support students through a hugely disrupted year. Students should be proud of their results and confident that grades are meaningful. It's near impossible to compare outcomes with previous years because of the different way assessment was done.

Many young people will be excited to enrol in their local college, others to have achieved their GCSE English and maths resit or the qualifications they need to progress in learning or into work. Colleges will be working hard to ensure everyone that needs a place can get one, but we need the Government to step in with the extra funding as soon as the student is recruited, much the same way as in universities. The lagged funding formula currently used makes it much harder for colleges to ensure they have the capacity cater for every student. 

It’s not just 16-year-olds collecting their results today. Over 44,000 16 to 18-year-old resit students have improved their GCSE English performance to grade 4 or above this year and over 48,000 have achieved this improvement in GCSE maths. We know how crucial these achievements will be for young people enhancing their educational and progression opportunities. 

All of today’s successes must not hide the fact that the resit policy needs a major overhaul. The resit policy is unfair and there are still too many who will fail year on year - in a year that has put inequalities in education under the spotlight, what better time to review the entire GCSE policy. It’s time to rethink how we assess young people and adults who do not achieve grade 4 the first time round to truly put fairness at the heart of our education system.”

GCSE English 16-18

2020

2021

change

Students entered

143,523

114,704

-28,819 (-20%)

4+ pass rate

37.0%

38.9%

+1.9ppts

Students achieving 4+

53,104

44,620

-8,484 (-16%)

 

GCSE Maths 16-18

2020

2021

change

Students entered

154,791

140,339

-14,452 (-9.3%)

4+ pass rate

29.6%

34.5%

+4.9ppts

Students achieving 4+

45,818

48,417

+2,599 (+5.7%)