New rules could cause pupils to miss out on GCSE resits

New exam rules announced by Ofqual could lead to many pupils missing out on the opportunity to resit GCSE exams.

The exam regulator has released the outcome of its consultation into resits for legacy GCSE, AS and A level exams in preparation of new exams coming into force.

Ofqual concluded that students taking legacy A and A level exams will have the opportunity to resit the qualifications after the final scheduled award, regardless of the subject.

However, the resit options for pupils taking the legacy GCSE exams will be more strict. Ofqual confirmed that it will require exam boards to provide two resit opportunities for legacy GCSE English, English Language and Mathematics, one in November 2016 and one in summer 2017.

It also said it will require a resit opportunity in all GCSE sciences and additional science qualifications, but that resit opportunities in any other subject would not be required and would be left to the discretion of the exam boards.

The report states that this decision was made due to the fact that ‘these subjects are not normally specifically required for progression’ and ‘currently very few students take resits in the subjects’. It also noted that arranging resits for extra subjects could cause timetabling issues and large costs for exam boards.

It remains to be seen which exam boards, if any, will offer resits in subjects outside of English, maths and science, but it will likely leave many students unable to resit a large number of subjects once the new GCSE’s come into force

Read more