Gove announces wide-ranging GCSE reforms


Education secretary Michael Gove has unveiled reforms to the GCSE system, promising to make the exams “more challenging, more ambitious and more rigorous” in a bid to drive up standards of education. The changes, which were announced on June 11th, will have considerable impact on students taking the exams in future, including those in school and those completing GCSE home study courses.

Some of the most radical changes include:

  • Scrapping the A* to G grading system and replacing it with a scale of 1 to 8, with 8 being the highest
  • Axing coursework for almost all subjects and curtailing re-sits
  • Ending the current two-tier system except in maths and science
  • Abolishing modules and having exams at the end of the two-year course

Additionally, subjects like English and history will involve a greater writing component, while maths and science will test more advanced problem-solving skills. Exams regulator Ofqual will review the regulatory framework for GCSEs, and the grading structure will be reformed to “reflect the full range of student ability and reward the very best performers”.

“This higher level of demand will equip our children to go onto higher education or a good apprenticeship – and we can raise the bar knowing that we have the best generation of teachers ever in our schools to help students achieve more than ever before,” said Mr Gove.

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