1/2 Teens Fail English and Maths

By DAVID WOODING
Whitehall Editor

January 11, 2007

MORE than half of teenagers leave school without good English and maths GCSEs, league tables reveal today.

The scandal was laid bare after results of the two exams were used in rankings for the first time. Six out of ten pupils hit the benchmark of passing five or more GCSEs — excluding English and maths — at grade A to C. But the figure slumped to 45.8 per cent when the two core subjects are included.Some previously high-ranked schools slumped under the revised system — exposing how “easy” GCSEs had boosted their standing. In 300 schools, four out of five youngsters failed to get at least a C in English, maths and three other subjects.

And at the country’s worst school only one in FIFTY made the threshold. Last night experts claimed the figures proved Labour’s boast of rising standards was a sham.

However, Schools Minister Jim Knight insisted the 45.8 per cent rate was 9.7 points higher than in 1997. He said: “More young people are leaving school with good GCSE passes in English and maths.”

David Hng

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