Do 2011 GCSE results show low achievers suffering from loss of support?

The trend (shown by the dashed line and the right hand axis) in number of pupils registered for GCSE or equivalent examinations at KS4 has continued to rise over the past four years. The gradient is steeper for Gypsy/R0ma pupils, which will be influenced by growing numbers of Roma pupils in the education system. The percentage of Gypsy/Roma reaching the benchmark 5 or more A*-C grades has also shown a significant rise. The fact that the 5+A*-C with English and Maths, has remained relatively flat, suggests that these improvements may be due to increased flexibility in the curriculum at KS4,  of which Michael Gove is critical. Newly arrived Roma pupils may also find difficulties reaching level C and above in English.

The table showing Irish Traveller results shows a much more noticeable change in 2010, with the greatest impact being a reduction in the proportion of candidates getting five or more A*-G grades.

We would suggest that the loss of encouragement and mediation from TESSs may have had more effect on these pupils than those heading for A to Cs.

It is important to remember that these figures are based on those pupils ascribing to the ethnic codes Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish Heritage; DFE research found 2/3 of Gypsies and Irish Travellers,  and 4/5 of Roma, changed their ethnic codes between Y6 and Y11.