From The Independent (not in Hansard yet):
[Mr Gove, speaking to Education Select Committee on 15 May) indicated he was]
planning to scrap the present grading system entirely and replace A* and A grade passes with a one, two, three or four pass. [...]
He said it could well be the case that the “band of achievement that is currently A* and A” was replaced by a new one, two, three or four pass. The new-style GCSEs will start to be taught in schools in September 2015.
Graham Stuart, the Conservative chairman of the committee, also argued that Mr Gove could be “deliberately” paving the way for “grade deflation” in the exam system through the changes.
He said that the pass rate could also go down in the first year of pupils sitting the new exam (2017) – “because schools don’t know how to work the system”.
Students who previously were awarded an A grade pass could be awarded a four under the new system (a one or two would be roughly equivalent to an A* while three or four would equate to an A grade). Academics argue a four would not be seen by employers and universities as a top grade pass. Numbers are likely to replace grades throughout the system so instead of A* to G grade passes students would be awarded one to 10 passes.
However, Mr Gove replied that that the current exam system meant teachers were spending “too much time on exam technique and not enough on content”.
National Curriculum Consultation, KS 1-3, announced today. Closing date: Tuesday 16 April 2013
Published for information only:
From other news:
The Education Secretary has dropped proposals to replace existing exams with new English Baccalaureate Certificates as part of a compromise deal between the Coalition parties, it emerged.
A move to axe competition between exam boards – forcing each body to bid for a “franchise” to run one subject – has also been abandoned amid fears it will fall foul of EU procurement laws.
Curriculum, exam and accountability reform: Michael Gove’s Oral Statement in the Parliament.
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].
Click here for quotes from the Consultation Document:
From The Telegraph:
Competing exam boards will be abolished under sweeping reforms to GCSE-level qualifications to be set
out by the Coalition next week. [...]
Mr Gove hinted at next week’s plans when he appeared before the Commons education committee this week.
The Commons Education Select Committee’s records are still not published, so we have to wait for details.
This is the first time the A*-C pass rate has fallen in the 24-year history of GCSE. The exams were first taken in 1988.
In maths, 58.4% of entries got at least a C grade, down from 58.8% in 2011, and 15.4% got A*-A, compared to 16.5% last summer.
Here you can find result statistics for OCR, Edexcel, AQA.
Times Educational Supplement (Friday 20 July 2012, No. 5002, p.16) published ‘The leaked timetable for the introduction of new qualifications’:
Summer 2012 Exam boards are due to bid for franchises to run exams in English, maths and science.
By Christmas 2012 Winning exam boards are expected to be announced.
September 2013 Final cohort of pupils will start GCSEs.
September 2014 O level-style courses in English, maths and science will begin.
On 23 May 2012 Department for Education published Draft Programme of Study for Primary Mathematics. From the official announcement:
The Secretary of State has written to Tim Oates, the Chair of the Expert Panel, with his response to the panel’s recommendations for the primary curriculum. The Secretary of State has also confirmed that he will write again to the panel about the secondary curriculum in due course. You can view a copy of the letter from Michael Gove to Tim Oates regarding the National Curriculum update. Draft Programme of Study for [...] mathematics has also been published. These drafts are a starting point for discussion with key stakeholders at this stage, but there will be a full public consultation on revised drafts which will start towards the end of this year.
This blog could be a natural place to start an in-depth discussion of the new curriculum. The following (independently developed) draft curriculum could be useful for such a discussion:
A. D. Gardiner, A draft school mathematics curriculum for all written from a humane mathematical perspective: Key Stages 1–4, The De Morgan Journal, 2 no. 3 (2012), pp. 1–138.
Abstract: This draft was hammered out by a small group, which included experienced school teachers, textbook authors, curriculum administrators, and mathematicians. In particular, many helpful suggestions from Tony Barnard, Richard Browne, Rosemary Emanuel, and David Rayner have contributed to the current version. It offers a mathematician’s-eye-view of school mathematics to age 16, which we hope will serve as a useful focus for wider discussion and debate.
Comments are most welcome and should be sent to
Anthony.D.Gardiner >>>at<<< gmail.com
Alternatively, leave a comment at this post.