Getting my head around the new GCSEs and A-levels due 2015

(34 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sun 15-Sep-13 15:28:32

I'm a maths teacher, currently on maternity leave and trying to keep up-to-date with developments (hard when Gove is in charge!).

From what I gather, at GCSE we will have new, harder (harder than the current new, harder) GCSEs in maths and English for first teaching in 2015. Other subjects will follow in 2016.

At A-level, things are going linear. I understand that maths and further maths are proving problematic and we will start linear teaching in 2016, but other subject linear courses will start in 2015. AS level as a midway point will cease, but students can opt to take a standalone AS level which will be a separate qualification, not a part of the A-level. I'm assuming this means they will have to select which subject they want their AS level to be in at the start of Y12 rather than reviewing results at the end of Y12 and deciding which subject to drop.

In maths, at least, we will have students starting the new A-level in 2016, having sat the old GCSE, as the new GCSE only starts in 2015. Presumably this will be a disadvantage as you would hope that the new GCSE will be designed to prepare better for the new A-level. Other subjects will have it worse as the new A-level will start in 2015, but the new GCSE not till 2016.

Am I right? Any other subject teachers want to chip in? I think if I were a parent of a child in this middle of the changeover, I'd be concerned.

Info here:
ofqual.gov.uk/news/publication-notice/

noblegiraffe Mon 16-Sep-13 19:31:16

Was that primary? Scrapped by Gove?

What is really really really needed is for education policy to stop being a political football.

crazymum53 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:44:02

Well, the GCSE will be linear as well, but with the current scheme of work. Almost all GCSEs are now terminal-only, as of the 2014 examination session.

I know, the current new non-modular GCSEs will be the "old" linear GCSEs by then.

creamteas Mon 16-Sep-13 19:51:20

What is really really really needed is for education policy to stop being a political football

We can dream sad

ClayDavis Mon 16-Sep-13 20:08:32

It was primary, noble. And tbf to Gove it wasn't entirely his cock up.

Labour commissioned the review, they got Rose to write the curriculum, they paid to create a new website and sent all the hard copy training materials into schools. What they failed to do was get the curriculum through Parliament, knowing that they were about to face a general election they were going to lose. They tried to rush it through in the end but there was no way the Tories were going to vote for it knowing they had a chance of winning an election.

Of course, when Gove gets the credit for introducing compulsory languages into the primary curriculum, he conveniently forgets that they would already be there had he not scrapped it several years ago.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Mon 16-Sep-13 20:48:08

Do you think we will get to the situation when comparing A grades, when we'll be saying ' well I got a A grade in 2016 so that's much better than your 2012 grade A.
How will employers be able to make a fair comparison?
I'm sure he plans to make sciences easier. I not sure who to blame most, labour who allowed the exams to get easier and easier or gove who's making it so making exams harder so its unfair on the current cohort. Personnaly prefer to blame gove most for being such a twat, but seriously can they not see the damage they are doing?

ClayDavis Mon 16-Sep-13 21:39:19

I don't think they really care about what they're doing. And it doesn't matter which side you look at. Gove is a bit of a twat but he's been handed a vote winner on a plate by Labour degrading the standard of some of the GCSEs so they could brag about how much better the standard of education is under their government. (I'm not saying that's the sole reason for the rise in pass rates. A shed load of work went in from both teachers and students to contribute to that too.)

They weren't really fooling anyone. All Gove has to do is tinker with the system and make pass rates go down and people start thinking he's fixed it.

friday16 Mon 16-Sep-13 22:43:27

Labour degrading the standard of some of the GCSEs

I think a larger problem was Labour's careless enthusiasm for "equivalent" qualifications. If you look at the finer detail on the DfE website, there are schools where even "high attaining" pupils (those arriving with KS2 SAT scores above 4) are only getting two thirds of their GCSE results from actual GCSEs, the rest from assorted "equivalent" qualifications. These tend to be 11-16 schools in areas with low levels of parental education, where the parents won't be as aware that the qualifications are extremely limiting for further education and the school itself doesn't have to pick up the pieces. Gove's decision to clamp down on that will improve social mobility; children from poorer backgrounds are disproportionately likely to be taking these qualifications.

whenigrowupiwanttobeaunicorn Mon 16-Sep-13 22:59:52

I have 2 DDs currently in Yr9 and Yr7, so they are either side of the changes if they happen when proposed.
I worry about DD2 having to be a "guinea pig" and also for DD1 having de-valued qualifications confused

MagratGarlik Mon 16-Sep-13 23:08:23

Science will start the new A'levels a year earlier than maths. There has been a big who-ha in science because learned societies were not involved in the A'level reform.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24018145

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