November GCSE entries

You will be aware from letters which have already been sent home, and your conversations at parents’ evening, that we have entered students for English and Maths exams in November.  You may also be aware from the news that the Government is making further changes to the League Tables.  I am writing here to outline these changes and to explain our response as a school.

The Department for Education has taken the decision, with immediate effect, that only a student’s first sitting of an examination in English, English literature, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages will count in school league tables. This change does not, in any way, prevent students from re-taking a subject and receiving a higher grade, it only affects the school’s position in the League Tables. 

At The Ilfracombe Academy we believe that decisions about students entering early for an examination should be considered with care, and with reference to what is best for students, not League Tables.  We want to give our students every chance to reach their target grade or even better. Therefore, we have taken the decision that we will continue with the November exam entries we had planned for English and Mathematics. What was right for our students at the start of the school year only a few weeks ago, remains right now.  Students are fully aware that access to Further Education, Higher Education and the best employment opportunities depends a great deal on their exam results. Putting them in a position where they can achieve their very best is top priority for us.

This policy change, made after schools across the country had already entered students for the autumn round of exams, is asking us as a school to choose between our league table position and the life chances of our young people.  We have of course chosen the latter.

We are really impressed with the focus and determination that Year 11 have shown since their return in September and we also believe that an exam early in the academic year will help focus them on the reality and importance of GCSEs. The key date for Maths and iGCSE English is 6th November, with a second Maths exam on 8th November.  We would ask for your continued support in ensuring that students remain focused on their revision during half term.

If you have any questions or concerns about either the above or the preparation for examinations this term, please do not hesitate to contact the school for further information.

Mrs S Marshall, Headteacher