Pupils who fail their maths and English GCSEs could be BANNED from taking out student loans, under new Government plans.

The move comes amid Government plans to tighten controls on higher education.

The proposals, which are set to be published later this week before being put to consultation, would see the introduction of both student number controls and minimum entry requirements for some university applicants.

The Department for Education (DfE) said the measures are being considered in order to prevent pupils from being “pushed into higher education before they are ready”.

New requirements for student loans under government plans

The plans will include a suggestion that students who do not get 2 Es at A level or equivalent or at least a Grade 4 pass in English and Maths at GCSE are barred from getting a student loan, a DfE spokesperson said.

The planned overhaul, first reported in the Daily Telegraph, comes as the number of school-leavers opting to pursue higher education continues to rise, according to new figures.

Data from the Ucas university admissions service shows 320,000 sixth formers have applied for university places so far, compared with 306,000 in 2021.

A DfE spokesperson said in a statement: “Our universities are a great British success story. They are powerhouses of innovation and are playing a key part in revolutionising the skills system, helping making lifelong learning possible with more flexibility and technical training.

“But we need to ensure that we are creating opportunities that will not only open doors but will develop the talent our country needs to prosper now and in the future.

“Higher education is an investment and we need to ensure that graduates are being rewarded for the money, time and effort they put into their studies with an educational experience and jobs that match their skills and help contribute to the economy.”

GCSE grading system

Full GCSE grading system explained

The numerical grading system is comparable key grades in the old way marks were calculated.

Here is what they mean:

Denbighshire Free Press: GCSE grading system explained. (Ofqual)GCSE grading system explained. (Ofqual)

When was the GCSE grading system changed?

A numerical grading system was introduced in schools in 2014 by Michael Gove who was Education Secretary at the time.

The move was made to make GCSE’s more challenging with an emphasis on exams rather than coursework over a two-year period.

For the past two years this has not been the case due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The government announced in January that students would not take national GCSE, AS and A-Level exams this summer, due to the impact of the pandemic on young people’s education.