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Cambridge IGCSEs more popular than ever before

A record number of UK students took the Cambridge IGCSE this year, at nearly 300,000

Posted by Stephanie Broad | August 19, 2016 | Teaching

Entries for Cambridge IGCSE examinations in the UK rose to nearly 300,000 in June 2016, an increase of four per cent on 2015. This is despite the UK government’s decision to remove regulated Cambridge IGCSEs from school league tables from 2017.    

Entries for Cambridge IGCSE English Language have increased again this year. More than 224,000 students sat these exams in over 2,500 schools in the UK – an increase of four per cent. Once again, it means that one in three students in England taking an English GCSE-level qualification this year took Cambridge IGCSE English Language.   

The huge popularity of Cambridge IGCSEs has also continued globally, with an eight per cent rise in entries from schools in 145 countries this year.   

Michael O’Sullivan, Chief Executive, Cambridge International Examinations, said they are popular due to their quality, standards and international respected. “Schools tell us they like the content of Cambridge IGCSE syllabuses and that their students find it engaging. Teachers tell us how enjoyable the syllabus is to teach,” he said.  

“However, it’s disappointing that over 2000 state schools will have to give up their first choice of qualification from next year, given the decision by the previous Secretary of State to exclude even regulated IGCSEs from performance tables. The fact that this decision is not a reflection on the quality, demand or standard of Cambridge IGCSEs makes it all the more frustrating for schools.  

“We’ve enjoyed working with state schools, and we hope to work with them again. Many independent schools will continue to teach IGCSEs, but reporting of their students’ achievements will be misleading without IGCSE in performance tables. We were glad to see the UK Statistics Authority take this up with the Department for Education last week.”  

UK grade distribution for Cambridge IGCSE English Language, June 2016 

* Percentages are cumulative. For example, in June 2016, 64.6% of students achieved a grade C or above.    

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