ASCL welcomes Labour pledge to end forced resits

20 November 2018

Commenting on today’s announcement by shadow education secretary Angela Rayner that Labour would end the policy of forced GCSE English and maths resits in further education, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“We welcome Labour’s commitment to end the remorseless cycle of GCSE English and maths retakes which the government has forced on further education. It’s absolutely right that students should be able to retake these important qualifications if they choose to do so. But there is no point in compelling large numbers of students to keep resitting qualifications with diminishing results. It is demoralising for both them and their teachers and puts an intolerable strain on scarce resources.

“Literacy and numeracy are crucial skills, and we fully support their provision in post-16 education, but these subjects can be provided through high-quality functional skills programmes and not only by GCSEs. Students must be able to choose appropriate courses which improve their confidence in these subjects, give them a tangible record of attainment and which do not reinforce a sense of failure.”