Exam results, News, Opinion

So after all the huffing about A level resits – it matters exactly 0.1%

Today’s A level results have moved at fingernail pace.

The overall pass rate is up 0.1% and the proportion of A* and A grades has moved down 0.1%. Don’t all faint with excitement, please.A Level results 2014 vs 2015

But there’s an important policy lesson here.

This cohort were the first to sit AS and A2 exams without January resits. And how much has it made a difference? Hardly any.

After years of listening to politicians bang on about how terrible resits are, how they dumbed everything down, and how A level students approached things in a non-serious way because of them, it turns out that scrapping them has made almost zero difference to A level results at all.

Now, I admit, this is not the end of the ‘reform journey’. There is still the shift in September to AS exams no longer counting towards results at all.

There’s also some satisfaction to be gained for Gove supporters, though. One positive way to spin this is to say that schools saved an awful lot of time and money by not doing those extra exams, and it hasn’t negatively affected the students. Though without student-level data we can’t say if one group was hit harder than others, which is possible.




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