There is increasing disparity between the achievement of students in England and Wales. Sandra McNally explores the possible causes
IN MANY RESPECTS, the education systems in England and Wales are very similar. They had a shared history within the UK up until Welsh devolution in 1999, and although differences have increased since then, the main examination for 16-year-olds in both countries remains the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), which awards academic qualifications to students in specific subjects. GCSEs are graded from A* (pronounced as “A star”) to G. In the UK, examinations at 16 are a key educational milestone.
|What we know|
|● Educational performance has lowered in Wales compared to England in recent years.
● The timing coincides with the scrapping of publication of exam results in Wales.
● Other potential explanations are lower funding per student in Wales and the success of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategies in England.
● The abolition of “league tables” of examination results in Wales gave teachers less incentive to focus narrowly on assessment.
● International low-stakes tests also suggest a relative decline in Wales.
This article is available to subscribers only. If you are an existing subscriber, please login. New subscribers may register below.