Schools prepare for new GCSE targets

Gender gap in the classroom

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SCHOOL heads are encouraging pupils to choose a set of GCSEs to satisfy the government’s latest league table.

The English Baccalaureate (EBac) – A* to C GCSE passes in English, maths, dual science, geography or history, and a foreign language – was imposed on the league tables retrospectively this year.

In England just 16 per cent of pupils achieved the EBac which heads worry could become the new benchmark.

Phil Munday, of Henry Cort Community College, in Fareham, said: ‘We’ve had to consider the EBac because of the implications it might have on how students will be judged. I’m going to talk to students and parents about it. If there is a big uptake of those subjects, we will staff our departments accordingly.’

Dame Sharon Hollows, of Charter Academy, Portsmouth, has employed extra history, geography and Spanish teachers which she says could see a 50 per cent uptake of the English Bac, adding: ‘While we will encourage academically able students to aim for the EBac, we will not make it compulsory.’