AN AWARDING body has launched a campaign calling for funding to allow more GCSE students to study vocational alternatives in English and maths.

Awarding body NCFE surveyed 2,000 students and found four in five North-East respondents claimed they don’t have as much information on vocational and technical alternatives as they do about academic routes of education.

NCFE has launched a campaign calling on the Government to provide funding for learners who failed to achieve higher than a Grade 3 (equivalent to grade D) to sit alternative qualifications, rather than re-sitting the GCSE exams until they pass.

Currently, funding is only provided to learners who achieve a grade 2 or below, and NCFE said they would like to see this extended to more students.

Stewart Foster, Managing Director of NCFE, said: “The pressure to resit GCSEs can be hugely overwhelming. One size doesn’t fit all and we need to recognise that the current system is setting some students up to fail.

“Functional Skills is already an option for those who achieve a grade 2 or below, so we’d like to see it extended to those who have failed to achieve higher than grade 3. Students shouldn’t have to keep resitting their exams.

"Instead, acknowledging different learning methods will inevitably lead to more success in the future. Let’s create an even greater parity of esteem between academic and vocational learning.”