Equation sheets given to GCSE cohort in attempt lessen reduced grade inflation blow, schools minister says

24 August 2023, 09:38

Schools Minister Nick Gibb joins Tom Swarbrick

By Abbie Reynolds

As the government tackles grade inflation caused by teacher assessed grades during the pandemic, Schools Minister Nick Gibb insists, "we did actually help students this year".

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Speaking to Tom Swarbrick, Minister Nick Gibb said that it is "really important" to return to the 2019 grading system after interruption from the COVID pandemic.

Tom quizzed: "Why is it that England is working harder than the rest of the UK to reduce grade inflation and explain how that fair on those pupils?"

"Well, we have a devolved system, Tom, as you know. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland they all have their own education ministers and their own education policies.

"We took a decision two years ago that we would return to 2019 grading," MP Nick Gibb said.

Since exams were cancelled in 2020, teachers chose student grades and "inevitably" there were a higher number of grades at the "top level", the schools minister said.

Predictions show that a height of 75,000 students could fail their English and Maths this year due to the harsher grading system.

READ MORE: GCSE students face record number of exam retakes as return to tougher grading slammed as ‘too harsh' on pupils

"We did actually help students this year," he began telling Tom, "with equation and formula sheets, so they had less to memorise. [And] we spaced the exams so they had more time to revise".

"And the senior examiners will look at the performance at a national level and where it's lower in any subject than it was in 2019, that's taken into account in the grading boundaries."

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