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20 August 2015

  |  CBI Press Team


CBI responds to 2015 GCSE results

The CBI commented on this year’s GCSE results.

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Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:

“Congratulations to all those pupils receiving their results. Whether they got the grades they wanted or not there are plenty of further study and apprenticeship options available to launch their careers. 

“Business wants exams at 16 years old to be a staging post on a path to 18 for all young people, not an end in themselves. That is why we want the Government to conduct a wholesale review of 14-18 year-old education with the aim to create a system that delivers academic, vocational and combined options for all young people.

“And employers value attitudes and resilience just as much as academic results, so we must make sure that exams aren’t the only target our schools and colleges have.”

On languages, Ms. Hall said:

“Foreign language skills can open up many opportunities for young people and also help firms with the ambition to sell into overseas markets. Europe remains our largest export market so to see yet another fall in the numbers studying those languages used on our doorstep is a matter of concern.”

On compulsory resits in maths and English for post-16 students without a grade C, Ms. Hall said:

“Basic English and maths skills are essential for everyone entering the workforce, so it is right that we encourage young people to continue working to achieve good qualifications in these subjects – whether these are GCSEs or otherwise.”

On maths, sciences and computing, Ms. Hall said:

“It’s great news that the overall numbers of those taking science is on the up – although we still believe that triple science is the best way to enthuse and excite young people about careers in science. We must ensure that the shift away from single sciences doesn’t result in a drop in the overall number achieving 3 science GCSEs.

“Pupils should bear in mind that maths and science carry a real premium with employers and are sought after skills in our economy, so would lead to interesting and successful careers.

“The huge leap in numbers of those studying computing is the icing on the cake. Digital skills are essential in the modern world and economy, and to keeping the UK at the forefront of technological innovations. However, the fact that less than 1 in 5 computing students are women means that we are missing out on a huge pool of digital talent.”

On careers advice, Ms. Hall said:

“Young people have had to put up with patchy advice on careers for a long time, with teachers and parents who may not be aware of all the options expected to help out.

“The Careers and Enterprise Company is a step in the right direction but has a big job on its hands if it is to succeed and ensure all pupils have the broad and reliable information they need to help choose their future career path.” 

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