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‘GCSE results are improving but calm and careful analysis is needed’

ATL

Commenting after the release of this year’s GCSEs, Dr. Philip Dixon, Director of ATL Cymru, said:
‘We are delighted that overall our young people have done better than ever before in their GCSEs. This is a fitting tribute to their hard work and that of their teachers. In particular it is good to see the improvements in the science subjects. There will also be a sigh of relief that the fiasco with GCSE English in January does not seem to have impacted too negatively, though some schools and candidates will still be concerned about their final outcomes. However, although overall results are improving calm and careful analysis is needed to learn the full lessons of today’s results. The seemingly relentless fall in the number of candidates being entered for modern foreign languages is worrying. The drop in maths results overall is disturbing, and we need to have a clear understanding of why this has happened. If early entry is not benefitting our pupils then we need to think that through again. We now need to examine Welsh Government policies, especially those that relate to school accountability such as banding, to see what perverse outcomes and unintended consequences they could be having on our schools and on our young people.’

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