In the core academic subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate – English, mathematics, sciences, history, geography and languages – the Government intends to replace current GCSE with new qualifications, to be called “English Baccalaureate Certificates”. The Government will be moving away from the competition between Awarding Organisations to sell their qualifications in these subjects. Instead of schools choosing between a number of competing GCSEs in these subjects, a competition will be held to identify a single suite of qualifications, offered by a single Awarding Organisation in each subject, for a period of five years.
A public consultation on these reforms has been launched, which will run until 10th December. This can be accessed [here].
1.3 [...] we will move away from the competition between Awarding Organisations in the core academic subjects of English, mathematics, sciences, history, geography and languages. Instead of schools being able to choose between competing GCSEs in these subjects, a competition will be held to identify the best, single suite of qualifications in each subject offered by a single Awarding Organisation. [...]
1.4 [...] Schools will start teaching new qualifications in English, mathematics and sciences from 2015, with students first entering the new exams in the summer of 2017. We will refocus the Department’s floor standard
measures which identify underperforming schools to take account of performance in our new English, mathematics and sciences qualifications from 2017. The timetable for the introduction of qualifications in history, geography and languages, and the timetable for the introduction of English and mathematics post-16, will be determined following responses to this consultation. [...]
4.2 [...] the Department for Education will hold a competition to identify the single, best qualification, offered by a single Awarding Organisation which could be adopted in each of the core academic subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate – English, mathematics, sciences, history, geography and languages, for a period of five years.
4.4. We will refocus the Department’s floor standard measures which identify underperforming secondary schools, and the minimum standards for post-16 institutions, to take account of performance in our new English, mathematics and science qualifications from 2017. [...]
5.20. We propose inviting bids from Awarding Organisations for the following complete subject suites in English, mathematics and sciences: [...]
• Mathematics (pure and applied)
• Optional Additional Mathematics (Awarding Organisations will be asked to consider submitting an additional mathematics qualification to provide the depth and breadth to fully test the most able) [...]
6.4. We will expect those students who are not secure in English or mathematics at the age of 16 (whether or not they were entered for an EBC) to continue to study towards an EBC post-16. [...]
7.1. We expect that the best qualifications in English, mathematics and sciences will be identified in 2013 so that schools will have more than 18 months to prepare for the first teaching of the new qualifications in September 2015. [...]
7.3. In accepting the recommendations of the Wolf Review in 2011 the Government has already signalled that all students who fail to achieve a good GCSE pass in mathematics and English by the age of 16 will need to continue to be taught these subjects afterwards. As part of our implementation of the Wolf review, from 2015 funding will be deducted from post-16 institutions for each student that does not hold a good GCSE pass and is not enrolled on a course to retake these qualifications. [...]
7.5. We estimate the current shortage of specialist English and mathematics teachers in the further education sector able to teach to GCSE level is 10% in English and 25% in mathematics. Post-16 institutions will need to build capacity in their workforce to support students studying these subjects in these, more rigorous qualifications by 19. [...]