Thousands of GCSE maths students are to sit more than one exam to raise the chances of them achieving a grade C or greater, the exams regulator has warned. Ofqual said as many as 15 per cent of GCSE candidates were last year submitted for maths exams with multiple boards in a bid to boost league table results.
Around 90,000 students in total sat the maths GCSE with at least two exam boards at once, and schools are able to “bank” the best result. In many cases, students are sitting GCSEs and International GCSEs, with the number of IGCSE entries increasing from 34,000 in 2012 to 45,000 in 2013.
Ofqual chief executive Glenys Stacey said there was a “fine balance” between legitimate methods of driving up results and “demotivating” pupils by making them sit multiple tests, adding: “Perhaps the time might be better spent teaching and preparing the student for one assessment.”
Last month, ministers sent a memorandum to the Commons Select Committee on Education saying they intend to ask Ofsted to investigate the “inappropriate use” of multiple exam entries. Changes are also planned for school league tables to reduce the focus on having a high percentage of pupils achieve C grades and above.