Top grammar school will abandon GCSEs

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The Independent Online

A leading private school is to drop GCSEs because the courses are not challenging enough. Manchester Grammar School will switch to the International GCSE (IGCSE) from September.

The school's high master, Christopher Ray, said the "controlled assessments" of the Government's exams were "cumbersome" and would prevent "inspirational teaching for the most able pupils". The £9,000-a-year boys' school already offers IGCSEs in mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics.

The Government has reformed the GCSEs, so that they will be mainly modular and allow pupils to retake chunks of a course to improve results. Coursework will be dropped in favour of in-class projects. The IGCSE is predominately assessed in an end-of-year exam.