2017 Public Examination Results Follow Up

Published 25th August 2017

Following the publication of this year’s GCSE and A level examination results, we have been listening with interest to reactions from schools.  At A level, initial analysis of the results indicate that entry numbers have remained static and the pass rate and proportion of grades awarded  are similar to last year.

At GCSE, although there is a significant drop in the total entry number, again the pass rate and respective numbers of grades awarded has remained broadly the same; a concern for creative, manufacturing and engineering industries where there is a real need to grow the workforce over the coming years.

As is always the case, some individual schools have been surprised by their results, and in the worst cases, been shocked by what they recognise as significant marking down of students work resulting from the moderation process.  This year is no exception, with highly experienced teachers contacting the Design and Technology Association and expressing concern.

Examination results are first and foremost highly important to the students who take them and their subsequent progression onto further courses of study or employment.  But their significance to the school, the individual department and teachers is also great. We believe it is very important that in the forthcoming weeks, during which detailed analysis of results is conducted in schools, further explanation is provided to explain more about the process of examining leading up to awards being announced.  This needs to relate specifically to this year’s results.

Questions that are being asked include:

If it is the case that there is a comparatively smaller range of marks being used to differentiate between A*- E in a specific A level examination, why is this?

At GCSE, why is it that controlled assessment marks have been adjusted down by as many as 20 marks and in centres where work of similar quality in previous years have not?

The Design and Technology Association is keen to discuss this year’s results with each of the Awarding Organisations and is inviting them to respond through our media, to the concerns being expressed by schools. It takes very seriously the role of promoting and furthering the interests of the subject and all those who are engaged with it. We are always keen to hear about members and non-members experiences and use information collected to support our representing the subject.

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