Here is a somewhat provocative article by the Chief Exec of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Have a read, and please tell me what you think. (For non-UK readers, GCSEs are taken at the end of year 11, after which one is allowed to leave school. But if one prefers to stay on, then A-Levels are taken in two doses at the end of years 12 and 13 before those who wish to go on to university, sometimes taking a gap year before doing so.)
Chemistry chief stamps on exam eggshells
The reality is that national science testing has become dominated by what is easy to teach, and what is easy to mark, although the best schools and teachers deliver lessons in the classroom well above this level, Dr Pike added.
This is because less than half of science teachers in secondary schools have a degree in a mathematically-based science (chemistry, physics or mathematics).