GCSE result drop 'questionable', says Suffolk head teacher

Geoff Barton said he had seen a drop of about 10% in GCSE English results

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Unexpectedly low English GCSE results which have led some teachers to talk of resignation do not make sense, a Suffolk head teacher has said.

Geoff Barton, of King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds, said he had seen a drop of about 10% in results despite last week seeing some of the best A-level results in the county.

He said there were serious questions to ask about the "catastrophic" drop.

The Office of Qualifications said: "Results go down, for various reasons."

"They don't stay exactly the same each year, in each subject," said an Ofqual spokeswoman.

'Significant questions'

"We have developed our approach with the help of the best experts in the field and we are open about what we do."

Mr Barton, who is also a government education adviser and last year travelled to Iraq to advise on schools, said: "The big question is, why have seen such a catastrophic change in English results which is going to have such a big impact on some of our schools' performance overall?

"The stakes for head teachers are really high.

"I have had several head teachers phoning me yesterday thinking it was just their school that had a drop in results and talking of resignation.

"It seems to me if we can't explain this within our own schools it raises some significant questions about policy.

"As an English teacher of 28 years, teaching in a school with pretty much the best A-level results in Suffolk, how can we explain that the same teachers in the same school with a track record of success are seeing such a drop?

"If I was a parent of a child who got a D grade this time and last year might have got a grade C, I would certainly want to ask why."

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