Thousands of young people are facing an endless cycle of GCSE resits

Above: Behind the scenes - Andy Ratcliffe, CEO at Impetus-PEF, interviewed for BBC Breakfast

Today, young people across the UK have been opening their GCSE results.

We hope they get the success they deserve. But we know that won’t be the case for everybody. Our new analysis of GCSE resits has found that thousands of young people are taking English and maths exams for more than the third time. Some even resit as many as nine times (as reported in TES). Young people are five times more likely to pass their driving test at 17 than to catch up with their GCSEs. So,if you don't get your GCSEs at 16, you're unlikely to get them by 19.

This particularly affects young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Only 45% of them get GCSEs in English and maths by age 19, compared to 72% of their better-off classmates.

But we know from our Life After School campaign that it's vital for young people to get a grade 4 or above (equivalent to the old grade C) in English and maths. Because without good English and maths qualifications, life after school is much tougher, with fewer options and less access to jobs and higher education.

GCSE catch-up provision is not working. It's failing our young people. While there's been some progress in this area, the government could do better. That’s why we've asked government to invest attention and resources, particularly in further education colleges, to make sure these young people have a real second chance.

Good luck to everyone receiving their results.

Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation transforms the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring they get the right support to succeed in school, in work and in life.

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Education

Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are half as likely to get their GCSEs as their better off peers, and half as likely to go to university.

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