Let’s not pretend GCSEs are perfect

Let’s not pretend GCSEs are perfect

With the 2017 maths and English survey awaiting your thoughts on such provocative topics as the GCSE reforms, I was interested to read the views of Michael Lemin, policy and research manager at NCFE.

He argues that the new GCSEs still have some way to go before they can be considered the world-class qualification that Schools Minister Nick Gibb hails them to be.

Nick Gibb, a veritable veteran at three years in post while others have fallen around him, has been a champion of the schools reforms including the framing of GCSEs as the ‘gold standard’ in qualifications. However, this year there were errors with the new English exams including an accidental rewrite of Shakespeare and a wrong chapter reference.

Results this year will include the new grading system for English and maths with many teachers and education professionals still concerned over the new model. The question remains how will this effect young people emerging with a mixture of letters and numbers in their results? Could it ultimately prove a barrier to finding employment? According to a recent CBI/Pearson employer skills survey, 35% of businesses are still completely unaware of the grading changes to GCSEs.

Read more of Michael Lemin’s article here.

One comment

  1. Using the graph that the likes of Pearson have provided, with a 4 being the benchmark grade C of old is confusing to some because it only appears as if the low level 4 matches but then we see where the old B and A boundaries lay and are really unsure where the 5 and the 6 actually make sense.

    As a home tutor, I am hearing from my students that they have no idea where the 4 or the old C is and if at all, it makes any sense. I have to tell them that if Pearson says a 4 equates to an old C grade then they have to aim for the next one up, rather like not accepting a C grade as being enough. Who wants one of those when you can get the one above it?

    In the end, there will be more and more changes implemented and none of them will get anywhere near to what we need to be doing and that is getting in line with the rest of the world, whether that is through the Baccalaureate or some other IGCSE that has universal marking adopted and is accepted across the world.

    I am intrigued by the fact that so many employers are going to get caught out when they see a 5 on their interviewees GCSE results, with a P, M or D at the side of it. What’s the old adage? If it ain’t broken…….

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