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

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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.