Reforms to the GCSE grading system in England has created “big uncertainty” for faculties, the NASUWT union says.
The union says the brand new 9-1 GCSE grades will improve the strain on pupils and slim the vary of academic alternatives for younger folks.
The brand new grading system is being phased in from this summer time, beginning with maths and English, with grades 9-1 changing grades A*-G.
The federal government maintains the adjustments 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 detrimental penalties for pupils and academics.
Paul Daly, a maths trainer at Whitworth Park college in Spennymoor, County Durham, mentioned 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 predict that your grade may be a 4, or may be a 5, or it may be a six, or it could possibly be something as a result of we do not know as a result of we’ve not been informed something about grade boundaries.
“All we all know is, in comparison with final 12 months, the marks are very, very low and only a few individuals are scoring very excessive marks within the exams.”
Mr Daly mentioned college students have been usually 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 children and also you attempt to make them really feel like really they’re doing properly, they’re working arduous and ‘I do know that final 12 months you’d have gotten a grade B, you are that sort of scholar, you’d have gotten a grade B final 12 months.
“‘This 12 months I feel you are most likely 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 can not offer you any ensures.”
Claire Taylor from Woodlawn Particular College, in North Tyneside, says her pupils, who’ve particular wants, won’t even be capable 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 totally 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 group as a result of they can not entry the identical sort of curriculum and the identical sort of alternatives and as different younger folks throughout the schooling system.”
Chris Keates, basic secretary of the NASUWT, mentioned the adjustments – introduced in underneath Michael Gove when he was schooling secretary – had been pushed by “political crucial”, slightly than the wants of younger folks.
“The federal government has persistently sought to painting GCSEs as ‘damaged’ and ‘dumbed down’ with a view to push by means of its imaginative and prescient of an elitist, narrowly centered curriculum and system which dangers failing to fulfill the wants of the vast majority of younger folks.
“The adjustments to examination grading have created big uncertainty for pupils, academics, dad and mom and employers which will probably be tough for faculties to handle.
“Faculties already buckling from extreme workload at the moment are going through much more bureaucratic reform and younger folks, already experiencing rising charges of tension and psychological ailing 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 most effective schooling methods on this planet and permit younger folks to compete in an more and more world office.
It says it’s working intently with the faculties to make sure they perceive what the adjustments will imply.