EBacc – facts and figures and why teachers and parents are worried after the new GCSE grading system

Facts and figures about the EBacc and why teachers and parents are worried

In my last article, I highlighted the concern that headteachers, teachers and parents have as a result of the new more rigorous requirement the government has now put in place for a student to meet the criteria for the English Baccalaureate – EBacc. In this article, I show a bit of history of students’ performance since the EBacc was introduced. Included in the figures is a projection that shows a drastic decline in the number of sixteen year olds who will obtain the EBacc qualification from 2017.

These figures show why headteachers, teachers and parents are worried.

EBacc – facts and figures

Students who achieved EBacc when it started in 2010 – 15.1%

Students who achieved EBacc in 2015 – 24.3%

Students estimated to achieve EBacc in 2016 – 24%

Students estimated to achieve EBacc in 2018 – 14%



The figures above shows the percentage of students from state school who achieve the EBacc – the English Baccalaureate. The figures for 2016 to 2018 are estimates and this is according to the TES – the Times Educational Supplements.


The new requirement and what parents must be aware of

It used to be the case that students only needed to achieve grades A* to C in the subjects listed above but there is now a more stringent requirement. To meet the EBacc requirement a student needs to achieve grade 5 under the newly introduced GCSE grading system. Considering the government has said that grade 4 in the new system is the equivalent of a grade C, it’s reasonable to assume that young people only need to achieve grade 4 in these subjects and not grade 5 as the government now insists.


Why are teachers worried about the new rules for the EBacc and why should parents be concerned?

The worry that teachers and headteachers now have is that as grade 5 is more difficult to achieve than a grade C, there will be a sharp drop in the number of pupils who are meeting the requirement of the EBacc. This development ought to concern students and parents as well because it is more difficult to achieve the EBacc, which is seen as the golden standard for success at the age of 16. It is not surprising to assume that potential employers will begin to use the EBacc as one of the requirements when offering employment to young people. It also appears that some of the very top universities have begun to use the EBacc as one of the criteria for selecting the candidates they offer a place to on their courses. Although A-level is the standard requirement, some universities do look back to GCSE performance when making a judgement – particularly when they have to choose between two students with the same set of A-level grades.


Help and support

During the month of August 2016, Excel in Key Subjects will be offering guidance and support in order to ensure that parents understand what the new requirements are, and perhaps what they can do in order to minimise any potentially damaging impact on their sons’ and daughters’ education. You may contact us by completing the form in the link below, or call us on 020 7112 4832 to book a consultation appointment and speak to one of our education specialists on this or any other matter that’s of concern regarding the education of your son or daughter.

Contact Excel in Key Subjects to discuss the EBacc or any other matter regarding the education of your child that you may be concerned about: http://excelinkeysubjects.com/contact-us/

What is EBacchttp://excelinkeysubjects.com/23what-is-the-ebacc/

Video on EBacchttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXjc2zdcVCk

More on EBaachttp://excelinkeysubjects.com/will-new-gcse-grades-9-1-lead-new-elitism/

Government website for more detail on EBacc: www.gov.uk/government/publications/english-baccalaureate-ebacc/english-baccalaureate-ebacc