The Sunday Times is reporting an analysis by Labour that suggests the majority of pupils who resat maths and English GCSEs in 2014 obtained lower grades than the first time they took the exams.


The party has analysed official figures to show that two-thirds of 16 to 18-year-olds who retook GCSE maths failed to improve their grade and half achieved a lower one. For those retaking GCSE English, 60% failed to improve and 40% obtained a lower one.


In total, only 11% of those who resat English and 7% of those who resat maths scored a grade C or above second time around.


Lucy Powell, the shadow education secretary, is quoted.

“English and maths skills are key for our country’s competitiveness, yet this government is failing to drive up standards among young people in these crucial subjects,” she said.


“The government is failing to get enough good maths and English teachers into the system.”


The paper points out that under government rules, pupils who fail to achieve at least a grade C in GCSE English and maths have to resit the exams (with an estimated 250,000 falling into this category each year.


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