GCSEs 'to be replaced'

A dramatic overhaul of GCSEs has reportedly put forward by regulator Ofqual that could see the exam replaced by the Intermediate Level, or I-level, which will be graded on a scale of 1 to 8.

What is happening to the reform of GCSEs?

GCSEs are to be replaced by ‘I-levels’ as part of a dramatic overhaul put forward by exam regulator Ofqual, according to reports.

Key points

  • New grading system: Replacing letters will be a new scale, with 8 the highest score and 1 the lowest
  • Coursework: No marked coursework, apart from 10% in science subjects
  • Re-takes: Exams will only take place in the summer (apart from English and maths), meaning pupils could have to wait 12 months to re-sit a failed exam

Previous proposals

  • English Baccalaureate Certificate – or EBacc – was set to replace GCSEs but pressure from Lib Dem MPs and unions led to the scheme being dropped
  • Return to O-Levels – Michael Gove planned a return to a standard paper nationwide from a single exam board, but the plan provoked widespread anger

NUT opposes cutting GCSE coursework

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has criticised a proposal to dramatically cut down coursework as part of a revamp of GCSEs.

GCSEs could be replaced by ‘I-levels’ as part of an overhaul put forward by exam regulator Ofqual – and the new system would only include marked coursework for science subjects.

The proposals to get rid of coursework from every core subject apart from science are really not the best way forward.

This will ignore different learning styles and will narrow the skills that can be tested through terminal examinations.

The recent NUT-commissioned YouGov survey of parents showed that 61% believe that getting rid of coursework – leaving solely an end-of-course examination – is not the right decision.

– NUT general secretary Christine Blower

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GCSEs 'to be replaced by I-levels’

A dramatic overhaul of GCSEs put forward by regulator Ofqual could see the exam replaced by the Intermediate Level – or I-level – which will be graded on a scale of 1 to 8.

The Times reports the new assessment will not include any marked coursework, apart from 10% in science subjects, and opportunities to re-sit exams will be considerably reduced.

Exams will take place in the summer, other than English and maths exams in November, meaning pupils might only have the opportunity to re-take the tests a full year later at the age of 17.

Education Secretary Michael Gove had put forward the creation of an English Baccalaureate Certificate.