More exams in GCSE shake-up

Michael Gove has unveiled plans for a reform of the GCSE system with less emphasis on coursework and more on exams.

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MPs: Separate exam systems would be 'regrettable'

MPs have raised concerns about any plans for separate exams systems in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, saying such a move would be "regrettable".

According to a new report by the Commons education select committee, all three nations should continue to run GCSEs and A-levels.

It also urged ministers to "do everything possible to bring this about".

Pupils sit a GCSE maths exam Credit: Press Assocation

The call, in a report into last summer's GCSE English controversy, comes just weeks after Education Secretary Michael Gove wrote to his counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland suggesting that differences in exams reform mean that it is time for the countries to go their separate ways.

The cross-party group of MPs also said that ministers and England's exams regulator Ofqual must pay close attention to expert opinion on exams as they overhaul the system, and not ignore warning voices if concerns are raised.

GCSE English grade problems due to 'avoidable errors'

A report by MPs into last summer's GCSE English grading problems has blamed the controversy on poorly designed qualifications and a "series of avoidable errors".

It has been claimed that tens of thousands of teenagers received lower results than expected after grade boundaries were moved mid-year.

The report blamed some of the GCSE English problems on the "development phase". Credit: Press Assocation

The Commons education select committee said that a "series of avoidable errors" were made under the previous government when the new courses were being developed.

The report said: "Several of the problems with GCSE English can be traced to the qualifications development phase".

"This underlines the vital importance of getting decisions right during qualifications design. Exam board experts raised concerns at the time, but these were not acted upon by the regulator.

"One of the crucial lessons to be learned from this episode is that Ofqual and ministers should listen when concerns are raised during qualification development, especially when they come from specialists in the field."


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