The GCSE revolution: Michael Gove to introduce new 'I level' exam
Students would have to wait a full year if they need re-sit
Further details emerged today over the Education Secretary Michael Gove's plans for a radical rethink on GCSEs.
The plan, outlined in The Independent last month, involves scrapping the present grading system entirely and replacing A* to E grades.
It was reported today that the new exams could be called I levels - with numbered grades from 1 to 8.
Ofqual - the examinations regulator for England - is proposing that course work will be abolished in all core exams except science, while re-sits will be curtailed.
Under the proposed changes, all end-of-course exams would be sat in the summer - apart from English and maths exams in November - and students would have to wait a full year if they wanted to re-sit them.
Ofqual - which is due to launch a consultation shortly - was said to have decided that a new name was needed for the exam, according to The Times, as the Welsh Assembly had decided to retain the name GCSE for its exams, which will continue to feature modules and course work.
A new grade 8 would replace A* as the highest grade - although fewer would be awarded in order the reflect Education Secretary Michael Gove's aim of making exams harder while providing greater differentiation between the most able pupils.
Having 8 rather than 1 at the top would leave open the option of introducing a grade 9 if it was felt necessary to make it even more challenging.
The changes - covering English, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, double science, history and geography - would be introduced in schools from 2015.
Mr Gove first revealed the outline for the changes to MPs when he addressed members of the Commons select committee on education last month, saying: "We have set the bar too low. We have had a low level of expectations in the past. We will change how the exams are graded."
Ofqual refused last night to discuss details of the consultation paper, describing the report as “speculative”.
“We will be consulting shortly,” a spokeswoman said.
Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg: "This is now the third time Michael Gove has tried to abolish GCSEs. He keeps failing because he hasn't got a thought through plan to improve exams. Changing letters to numbers and the name of the exams is hardly the key to higher standards. We need serious proposals that learn from the best countries in the world.
"This needs a rigorous focus on English and Maths and testing both academic knowledge and the skills that young people will need in the workplace."
South Korea ferry passengers who were told to stay put 'got trapped' aboard sinking ship
Are beards attractive? Ryan Gosling says yes, but science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge and find out who's right
Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence witness 'unqualified' to testify
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence witness contradicts athlete's version in new blow for defence team
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Babies cry at night to stop mothers procreating, scientists claim
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
- 5 Mrs Doubtfire 2: Robin Williams set to star in sequel to 1993 comedy
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: KS1 KS2 Crewe Teacher Perm Ch...
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education is the lea...
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: KS1 KS2 Teaching Cheshire
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Long term position in large p...