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On 29 September 2013, the government announced new rules aimed at reducing the practice of pupils taking the same GCSE exam multiple times. The new rules, which come into immediate effect, mean that only the results of a candidate’s first entry at GCSE will count towards the school’s performance tables. The ruling affects all EBacc subjects and both GCSE and IGCSE exams.
For those who have already completed a GCSE, the performance tables will still record their best result from either their previous attempt or from the next time they sit that GCSE. For those who have not yet taken a GCSE, their first GCSE taken after 29 September 2013 will count in performance tables.
Mark Dawe, OCR Chief Executive, said:
“This summer’s GCSE results highlighted the fact that the accountability system is putting pressure on some schools and teachers to enter students for GCSEs on multiple occasions. Sitting the same exam over and over again does not benefit pupils, so we welcome any policy designed to relieve the pressure. However, we think the new ruling from the DfE should come into force after the GCSE English and Maths exams this November.
“For that reason OCR has decided to extend the exam entry deadline by a week until 11 October and the last day for withdrawing entries free of charge until 4 November. This gives schools already preparing students for GCSEs this November more time to consider what's best for each individual student."
Updated details, including specific examples of how the new ruling applies to maths, English and English language, are now available on the DfE website.