On Monday, details of the new exam system that will replace GCSEs in England will be released.
In 2015, the new single exam qualification will be introduced, and in 2017 the first students will sit it. This announcement is due to disagreements that have come from within the coalition, to do with the planned changes that were settled for examinations. The Welsh government on the other hand, has declared that it will not rush into a decision on GCSEs in Wales, and instead is waiting to hear the findings from a review which is due in November.
In June, Wales will not be returning to O-level type exams, according to Leighton Andrews, the Education Minister for Wales. Labour, in England, has said it supports more rigorous exams, assuming they do not act as a cap on aspiration however.
Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has said that he wants to replace GCSEs with tougher exams, as in his eyes, English students have been falling behind such high-achieving nations as Finland and Singapore. He has already announced that there shall be no more continual assessment or modules. Monday should also confirm that plans for a two-tier exam system will be dropped, with more clever students taking an O-level type exam and the rest taking an easier exam, which had been opposed by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister.
This move would be the biggest ever change in the exam system for a whole generation. Pass rates have gone up every single year since GCSEs were introduced other than this one, which led to the belief that they were getting easier. The move has come amid a great deal of controversy about this year’s English exams, and whether or not they were harshly marked and graded.
The whole GCSE system is causing a lot of debate at the moment, but what are your opinions on GCSEs, and do you feel this change is necessary? Share your views by clicking “Read More & Comment”.
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