As it stands, the majority of subjects taught in secondary schools use the traditional GCSE A*- G grading system which replaced O levels in the late 80s. GCSE’s have been criticised over recent years for not being a “respected qualification” and for failing to compare with the world-class standards.
Instead of using the well-known A*- G grading system, it has been proposed that a nine-point scoring system based on numbers will be more effective for better differentiating between the bright, average and weak students.
These reforms will only be seen in England from September 2015, with Wales and Scotland using the standard (A*-G) grading system. English Language, English Literature and Maths will be the first subjects to use the new nine-point grading system, with plans to introduce it for all subjects in the future.
Exams regulator, Ofqual, believes that by making the GCSE system more “challenging”, the public’s confidence in education will be restored.
Ofqual have also proposed that in English subjects, the amount of coursework will be reduced to prevent teachers grading essays too generously. And test modules will be scrapped, resulting in all exams being taken at the end of the year, in the months of May and June.
Chief regulator, Glenys Stacey commented: “further changes are needed if GCSEs are to be more engaging and worthwhile to teach and study.
“It will be fairer to all students that users of the qualification will be able to see immediately whether they did the new or a previous version of the GCSE. The new scale will also allow better discrimination between the higher performing students.”
Ofqual added: This nine-point system will “provide more differentiation between students achieving the middle and higher grades”, making it more efficient for employers and further education establishments when measuring the suitability of the student to the course or job they wish to enrol on.
There is more information on the GCSE reforms at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10418327/GCSE-reforms-pupils-to-be-graded-from-one-to-nine.html