Do you agree with gov plans to ban those who fail GCSE's from student loans?

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Phoebe Simmonds
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#1
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#1
The Department for Education (DfE) has announced government plans to prevent students who fail their Maths and English GCSEs from taking out student loans.
https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news...glish-23190670


Do you agree with this?
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EOData
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#2
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#2
I do. Getting at least a 4 in Maths and English is a pretty low bar and I think any employer employing a graduate would expect at this this level of numeracy and literacy.
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artful_lounger
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#3
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#3
No, although as it transpires with all the exceptions it doesn't affect a huge number of people potentially by the look of things - but on principle I think it's a poor way to handle the issue and sidesteps any actual issues without solving them, while also not really doing anything while appearing to do something. It also opens the door to much wider ranging actions which may actually disenfranchise a lot of people who are underrepresented in HE due to systemic barriers - thereby adding yet another systemic barrier, instead of addressing the existing ones.
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Thisismyunitsr
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Phoebe Simmonds)
The Department for Education (DfE) has announced government plans to prevent students who fail their Maths and English GCSEs from taking out student loans.
https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news...glish-23190670


Do you agree with this?
Yes. If you can’t get a GCSE in Maths and English you’re probably going to struggle with a degree so it’s not worth doing.
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Mesopotamian.
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#5
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#5
I think the entire loan system needs to be reformed so any changes they make within the bounds of the current system is a futile effort (and may create even more problems) in my opinion.
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xavier56678
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Thisismyunitsr)
Yes. If you can’t get a GCSE in Maths and English you’re probably going to struggle with a degree so it’s not worth doing.
How will getting a 9 in maths help me with my English degree?
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user432
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#7
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I get the whole 'even if you get bad GCSE's you can always work hard, even re do the test and do good in life', but getting a 4 in Maths and English really isn't that hard.

If you just pay attention and do the literal 'bare minimum' anyone can pass.

I'd understand the exception for people with medical conditions, but for the average person, there are a plethora of resources that are free and readily accessible that allow you to once again, achieve the 'bare minimum'.
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Lkathryn08
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#8
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No I don’t. I understand that maths and English are core skills that are desired by a lot of people but not everyone is in a situation where they can easily obtain these qualifications.

Not every student has access to top of the range tutors who can help them secure that grade, some students have SEN needs that can be a massive barrier in obtaining these qualifications.

The current system also does not easily allow for retakes and to put so much on the line for one chance to take your GCSE at the end of year 11 is not fair to students. That is too much pressure to put on a 16 year old.

Some students don’t thrive in exams due to multiple reasons and that can also be a barrier in obtaining these grades.

While a certain level of literacy and mathematics skill are important, if you are going to university to study a humanities based degree with no mathematic content, why should having a 3 in maths be barrier?

Also it is literally not possible for all students to get these grades. A certain number of students every year will fail to obtain a 4 because that is the way the system is designed. How is this fair?

Finally, what are the other options that are being out in place for these people who now won’t be able to attend university? If apprenticeships and other options were given more publicity, focus and funding then maybe it could be justified but that isn’t the case.
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EOData
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#9
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#9
(Original post by xavier56678)
How will getting a 9 in maths help me with my English degree?
No one is requiring any one to get a 9, just a 4 which really isn't asking a lot.
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user432
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#10
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#10
^^
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StriderHort
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#11
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#11
Remember we have a 10 page thread on this already.
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Admit-One
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#12
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#12
Long thread about this topic, (with a poll with nearly 900 responses) here:

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=7173267

In brief, no, I don't agree with paywalling the Eng & Maths requirements. I think the current system, (where the majority of unis & courses already set minimum requirements), works just fine.
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Thisismyunitsr
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#13
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#13
(Original post by xavier56678)
How will getting a 9 in maths help me with my English degree?
I meant getting a C.
(Original post by Lkathryn08)
No I don’t. I understand that maths and English are core skills that are desired by a lot of people but not everyone is in a situation where they can easily obtain these qualifications.

Not every student has access to top of the range tutors who can help them secure that grade, some students have SEN needs that can be a massive barrier in obtaining these qualifications.

The current system also does not easily allow for retakes and to put so much on the line for one chance to take your GCSE at the end of year 11 is not fair to students. That is too much pressure to put on a 16 year old.

Some students don’t thrive in exams due to multiple reasons and that can also be a barrier in obtaining these grades.

While a certain level of literacy and mathematics skill are important, if you are going to university to study a humanities based degree with no mathematic content, why should having a 3 in maths be barrier?

Also it is literally not possible for all students to get these grades. A certain number of students every year will fail to obtain a 4 because that is the way the system is designed. How is this fair?

Finally, what are the other options that are being out in place for these people who now won’t be able to attend university? If apprenticeships and other options were given more publicity, focus and funding then maybe it could be justified but that isn’t the case.
I redid my maths GCSE five times before I got a C. Apprenticeships are given tonnes of publicity, it’s all the government goes on about.
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EOData
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Lkathryn08)
The current system also does not easily allow for retakes and to put so much on the line for one chance to take your GCSE at the end of year 11 is not fair to students. That is too much pressure to put on a 16 year old.
There is a requirement - and funding to support it - for Students to re-sit (and re-sit) Maths and English during 6th form if they haven't achieved a 4.
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Lkathryn08
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#15
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#15
(Original post by EOData)
There is a requirement - and funding to support it - for Students to re-sit (and re-sit) Maths and English during 6th form if they haven't achieved a 4.
Yeah but it’s still more difficult having to balance this with sixth form studies. When I did my GCSEs people were able to retake exams multiple times when they were at school and now that is not the case.

People have less opportunities to succeed and higher consequences when they don’t.
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Lkathryn08
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#16
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(Original post by Thisismyunitsr)
I meant getting a C.

I redid my maths GCSE five times before I got a C. Apprenticeships are given tonnes of publicity, it’s all the government goes on about.
I mean it is far more difficult to retake when you only get one chance to sit the exam while at school.

And while it does seem that apprenticeships are pushed by the government, this isn’t translated in schools. When I was a sixth form, apprenticeships weren’t even mentioned as an option. There was just so much of a push for university. Students weren’t given that information a lot of time which can limit options.

Things hopefully have changed since I was at school but this doesn’t change how much this policy will limit so many students, especially from more disadvantaged backgrounds.
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McGinger
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#17
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#17
Its a nonsense - because you have to retake E&M GCSEs if you dont get them first time anyway.
Only mature students and refugees etc will be applying without them - a totally unfair impact.

Its this government's latest attempt to deflect from the fact that they have woefully underfunded state schools and colleges - and their ongoing inability to get anything right - A level grades, Free School Meals, PPE, Aged Care, Income Support, Ukrainian refugees etc etc. 'Look Dead Cat' - a nonsense issue that they hope everyone will focus on rather than their appalling record in government.
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Admit-One
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#18
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#18
(Original post by McGinger)
Its a nonsense - because you have to retake E&M GCSEs if you dont get them first time anyway.
Only mature students and refugees etc will be applying without them - a totally unfair impact.

Its this government's latest attempt to deflect from the fact that they have woefully underfunded state schools and colleges - and their ongoing inability to get anything right - A level grades, Free School Meals, PPE, Aged Care, Income Support, Ukrainian refugees etc etc. 'Look Dead Cat' - a nonsense issue that they hope everyone will focus on rather than their appalling record in government.
PRSOM
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Tammie2345524
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#19
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#19
I don't think it's a great plan, but not because I don't think you should need to pass English and maths to go to univeristy.

A grade 4 is low. Getting 4s in English and maths is not hard, even if you dislike the subjects. I absolutely hated doing my English language GCSE - it was so tedious - but all you have to do is pick a few quotes from the text they give you, use correct subject terminology, make up some rubbish about why the author used the quote and ensure that your spelling, punctuation and grammar is acceptable. I managed to get a 9 despite spending my year 11 English lessons playing hangman with my friend. I could easily claim that my English language GCSE was absolutely useless for my natural sciences degree. I do have to write essays as I'm a bio natsci, but I actually think that my history and religious studies essays did a better job at preparing me for the type of essays I write (although scientific essays are clearly structured differently to humanities essays). Yes, good SPaG is important - but I learnt how to spell and use proper grammar and punctuation in primary school, not at GCSE. Writing clearly - all my subjects except maths required that just as much as English language did. And yet, I didn't use that as an excuse to FAIL it. I stopped paying attention in class, but that was because the lessons were useless - I did make sure that I understood how to answer the questions.

As for maths - I actually like maths and I'm a STEM student so I'm probably biased, but even so all you need to do to revise maths is do practice questions. There's only so much they can ask you, and to get a 4 you probably don't even need to be able to do the harder questions that require you to think a bit harder about which mathematical skills you need to use. Maths IS an important life skill that many people lack, as the pandemic has shown. Some people don't understand percentages or basic probability. Managing our own finances requires maths. Problem solving skills and being able to think about problems logically is important. Some people will claim that the humanities are important even if you aren't going to use the knowledge because they teach you to think critically and then claim that maths is useless - but maths teaches you another, equally important way of thinking (that's not supposed to be a dig at the humanities - critical thinking is important too).
Yes, you're probably not going to use trigonometry again if you drop all STEM subjects after GCSE. Some parts of maths GCSE are just used to teach the future STEM students the basics, but come on, Pythagorus' theorem is not hard to use. It's not like they're teaching you how to solve second order differential equations.

Anyway, if someone can't get 4s in maths and English, why would they want to go to university? Surely they'd be more suited to practical things like apprenticeships that further study at degree level? The issue with this plan is that rich students who don't need a loan could still get in without passing, not that expecting university students to have 4s in maths and English is unfair.
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Thisismyunitsr
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#20
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(Original post by Lkathryn08)
I mean it is far more difficult to retake when you only get one chance to sit the exam while at school.

And while it does seem that apprenticeships are pushed by the government, this isn’t translated in schools. When I was a sixth form, apprenticeships weren’t even mentioned as an option. There was just so much of a push for university. Students weren’t given that information a lot of time which can limit options.

Things hopefully have changed since I was at school but this doesn’t change how much this policy will limit so many students, especially from more disadvantaged backgrounds.
Agreed. Apprenticeships were never mentioned to me in sixth form, although this was seven years ago
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