Changing GCSE rules ‘could harm some pupils’

From left, University of Portsmouth head of brand strategy and corporate communications Emma Fields, Portsmouth FC commercial director Anna Mitchell, university governor and former Portsmouth FC President David Willan, football club CEO Mark Catlin and university vice chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith

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SCRAPPING thousands of ‘equivalent’ GCSE qualifications could harm prospects for the least academic youngsters, a Fareham head has warned.

Phil Munday, of Henry Cort Community College, says he welcomes the government’s decision to no longer count 3,050 out of 3,175 non-GCSE courses in performance tables from 2014.

He admits for too long alternative courses worth up to six GCSEs have skewed exam results – and has already switched back to GCSEs for business studies, dance, drama and science.

But he warned schools moving away from practical courses like BTECs to chase league table points would disadvantage less academic youngsters.

Mr Munday said: ‘The new tables will only count two “equivalent” qualifications. I worry schools under pressure to get good percentages and good Ofsteds will deprive children not expected to gain Cs in their GCSEs of courses that suit them.’