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Downing Street has contradicted Nick Clegg by confirming that David Cameron had known about controversial plans to scrap O-levels before they were leaked.
The Liberal Democrats reacted furiously this week when it emerged that Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove had drawn up the proposals.
The Deputy Prime Minister told BBC Radio 4's The World At One earlier: "This has not been subject to collective discussion in government. Neither myself nor the Prime Minister were aware of it. That's self-evidently the case."
However, Number 10 indicated that Mr Cameron had discussed the plans with Mr Gove previously - although he had not expected them to become public.
David Cameron was not aware of Education Secretary Michael Gove's controversial plans to bring back O-Levels until they were leaked this week, the Deputy Prime Minister claimed today.
Nick Clegg said that neither he or the Prime Minister were informed of the proposals - and stressed they would not become Government policy without Liberal Democrat backing.
Downing Street has refused to say whether Mr Gove shared his ideas with Mr Cameron before they were leaked, infuriating Liberal Democrats staunchly opposed to any return to what they see as a "two-tier" education system.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that the planned overhaul of the GCSE system was not something that had been discussed or agreed within the Coalition Government.
He stressed that any overhaul must work for the majority of pupils, "not just the few" and that examinations must reward "aspiration, effort and hard work".
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was not in favour of any exam system overhaul that would "turn the clock back to the past." Speaking at press conference at the Rio+20 climate change talks in Brazil he said:
"These documents the Daily Mail has got, it’s not government policy. My own view in general terms is very simple. An exam system needs to be rigorous and stretching, of course.
But any review of the exam system, and we’ve already made a number of changes, should always be built for the future, not to turn the clock back to the past, and crucially has got to reward hard work and aspiration for all children and not just cater to the few at the top.
Any exam or school system must be for the many not the few."
Here we have two non-calculator maths exam papers from June 1968 and June 2010.
The Lib Dem President Tim Farron has tweeted his reaction to the Education Secretary's plans to replace GCSEs with O-Levels.
Conservative MP Graham Stuart has told BBC Radio 4 that he is "sceptical" about Education Secretary Michael Gove's plan to scrap GCSEs. Mr Stuart said:
Commenting on Michael Gove’s statement to the House of Commons on leaked documents regarding GCSE reforms, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union said:
Shadow Minister for Schools Kevin Brennan has apologised for making a maths blunder at the Commons today, as he argued that three in 10 pupils had received good GCSEs in 1997, but claimed it to be the equivalent of 60%.
Former Labour education secretary Andrew Adonis has written that the government's proposals to replace GCSE exams with O-Levels are "second rate".
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The Daily Mail says it has seen leaked documents outlining the most radical overhaul of the school exams system for 30 years.