http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-19349444 http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/aug/23/gcse-results-fall-first-time?newsfeed=true A few titbits from the articles: And a horrible graph: (I seriously have no idea how the BBC can get away with publishing such a naff graph) So GCSEs are out, and results have dropped in all categories for the first time ever. Despite OFQUAL being and independent organisation, there is little doubt in my mind that this is down to governmental pressure. I've highlighted the English results as they are a subject which has been particularly effected. The 1.3% percent average drop is translating into 10-20% drops in some schools that contain a large number of C-D borderline kids, indeed it's the C-D boundary that has been hit the hardest. The manner in which it has been done is also very underhand... there exam boards have merely shifted the grade boundaries by several marks at the end of the course without warning. This means schools have been planning intervention, setting predicted grades and budgeting based on predicted 5 A*-C results that they had no way of knowing were too high. It's also worth noting that the altered grade boundaries did not effect January entries, so students who entered in January have ended up with a better grade than those that entered in June despite being of similar abilities in English. I'm really quite annoyed about this. It feels as though the outgoing Year 11 students have become victims of the 'stop dumbing down' movement and have been unfairly subject to harsh grade boundaries that will adversely effect their future prospects. I have no problem with improving standards, but merely marking exams more harshly is not going to do this, and in fact it's going to have the opposite effect when you don't tell teachers that the grade boundaries are going to change dramatically. EDIT: Just to clarify, my annoyance is with what's happened in English.