This change is being made to address the significant increase in early entry in recent years. In summer 2013, 23% of maths entries were from students who were not yet at the end of Year 11.
The Secretary of State has previously described early entry as a “damaging trend that is harming the interests of many pupils”, adding:The evidence shows that candidates who enter early perform worse overall than those who do not, even after resits are taken into account.
The Secretary of State said that “It seems likely that candidates are being entered before they are ready, and ‘banking’ a C grade where their performance at key stage 2 would suggest that if they had continued to study the subject and taken the GCSE at the end of year 11 they could have achieved a top grade. This is of particular concern in maths, where there is high progression from A*/A grade at GCSE to A level, but low progression from grades B and C”.
He also claimed that this narrowed the curriculum, focused not on sound subject teaching as a basis for successful progression, but on preparation to pass exams.
In reality this has meant disappointment to a significant number of students who were expecting to sit their Maths GCSE in 6 weeks time and have now had their exam postponed until June.