25 August 2015
Commenting on a paper by the think tank Policy Exchange which argues that Further Education Colleges should receive additional funding to help students with GCSE English and maths resits, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The Policy Exchange proposal would simply penalise secondary schools without improving matters substantially for FE colleges. The Coalition Government slashed 16-19 funding and it will be cut again under this Government. The answer is not to rob Peter to pay Paul but to fund all schools and colleges properly, to recruit more teachers and help them support students to make the most of the talents of our young people.
“The system as it stands is not attracting sufficient qualified maths teachers. It is also the case that a drive away from modularity has rendered GCSE exams an ever-more high-stakes, end-of-course test. This inevitably puts pressure on students, not to mention the workload of teachers in such a concentrated period at the end of those two years. Our recent Exam Factories report demonstrates the accountability regime’s damaging effects on young people and staff.”