New GCSEs will help all students, says regulator

The new numbers-based system for grading GCSEs will help less able students while making it easier to spot the most talented, said the head of the qualifications regulator Ofqual.

The first new GCSEs will be awarded in 2017.
The first new GCSEs will be awarded in 2017. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Glenys Stacey, Ofqual's chief regulator, said the move from eight gradings to nine means assessors "get a little bit more selection, which is particularly helpful at the top of the scale".

Glenys Stacey (centre), the head of exams regulator Ofqual.
Glenys Stacey (centre), the head of exams regulator Ofqual. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive/Press Association Images

She told the BBC's Today programme that focusing more on final exams and less on modules would benefit the less able student, because "he's not going to be weighed down by assessment after assessment."

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Numbers replace GCSE grades

The GCSE A*-G grading system will be scrapped in favour of a numbered scale, under the biggest reforms of the exams for decades. An additional grade will be added into the system that will see students achieve grades of one to nine.