Reforms to the GCSE grading system in England has created “large uncertainty” for faculties, the NASUWT union says.
The union says the brand new 9-1 GCSE grades will enhance the strain on pupils and slim the vary of instructional alternatives for younger individuals.
The brand new grading system is being phased in from this summer season, beginning with maths and English, with grades 9-1 changing grades A*-G.
The federal government maintains the modifications will drive up requirements.
However the NASUWT’s annual convention in Manchester heard that the introduction of a brand new grading system was inflicting pointless confusion, with damaging penalties for pupils and academics.
Paul Daly, a maths instructor at Whitworth Park faculty in Spennymoor, County Durham, stated pupils could be taking the brand new maths GCSE imminently, amid confusion about grade boundaries.
“We nonetheless have not acquired our head round what the grade boundaries are as a result of no-one will present us with any.
“So we’re giving them mock exams after which telling them ‘we expect that your grade is likely to be a 4, or is likely to be a 5, or it is likely to be a six, or it might be something as a result of we do not know as a result of we have not been instructed something about grade boundaries.
“All we all know is, in comparison with final yr, the marks are very, very low and only a few persons are scoring very excessive marks within the exams.”
Mr Daly stated college students had been typically anxious and confused, and that low scores like 25% meant “a little bit of a counselling session goes on” after mock exams.
“You sit down with the youngsters and also you attempt to make them really feel like truly they’re doing nicely, they’re working exhausting and ‘I do know that final yr you’ll have gotten a grade B, you are that form of pupil, you’ll have gotten a grade B final yr.
“‘This yr I feel you are in all probability going to get a 5 however I’ve no clue as a result of I haven’t got any grade boundaries, I’ve nothing to evaluate it off, in order a lot as I wish to make you’re feeling higher, I am unable to provide you with any ensures.”
Claire Taylor from Woodlawn Particular Faculty, in North Tyneside, says her pupils, who’ve particular wants, won’t even have the ability to entry the brand new exams.
“I’ve acquired no younger one who is ready to take the present maths GCSE at current.”
This makes them “really feel completely different” from their friends, she says.
“They’re already struggling, given the truth that they’ve a studying incapacity or a bodily incapacity […] and they’re now standing out even farther from the gang as a result of they can not entry the identical sort of curriculum and the identical sort of alternatives and as different younger individuals throughout the training system.”
Chris Keates, common secretary of the NASUWT, stated the modifications – introduced in underneath Michael Gove when he was training secretary – had been pushed by “political crucial”, quite than the wants of younger individuals.
“The federal government has persistently sought to painting GCSEs as ‘damaged’ and ‘dumbed down’ with a purpose to push by way of its imaginative and prescient of an elitist, narrowly centered curriculum and system which dangers failing to fulfill the wants of nearly all of younger individuals.
“The modifications to examination grading have created large uncertainty for pupils, academics, mother and father and employers which shall be tough for faculties to handle.
“Faculties already buckling from extreme workload at the moment are going through much more bureaucratic reform and younger individuals, already experiencing rising charges of tension and psychological sick well being, will face even better strain to carry out.”
The Division for Training says its GCSE reforms will create “gold-standard ” that match the very best training methods on this planet and permit younger individuals to compete in an more and more world office.
It says it’s working intently with the colleges to make sure they perceive what the modifications will imply.