Advanced search

Gove to announce scrapping of GCSEs

(592 Posts)
Itchyandscratchy Sun 16-Sep-12 10:02:48

But before anyone is taken in by the leak announcement in the Daily Hate Mail here, take the time to then read this for a more informed version.

With any luck they'll be out of a job in 2015 when this is sposed to be brought in, but there's no doubt GCSEs will be scrapped. What I woud hope is that Labour will get is finger out and propose a system that has had full consultation with schools, teachers, employment agencies, industry chiefs and unions.

It will change how every child is currently taught at secondary school. And I hope that doesn't mean some children's futures are determined by the age of 11.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 16-Sep-12 13:08:00

Glad it's not just me looking like
----> angry about this!

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 16-Sep-12 17:10:28


"What about late developers? Will a two-tier system allow for movement? Or is it strictly tied to their academic achievements at age 11?"

It means that as per 'O' levels and CSE a decision will be made about your child's ability at the age of 13 and (if gove has his way) they will be put on a course/curriculum to suit their level.

madhairday Sun 16-Sep-12 17:15:02

It says in that report the first exams will be in 2017, so next year's year 7 cohort? <may be wrong>

DD is y7, so if it is her year she is a guinea pig just as I was for the first GCSE year, fabulous, and she has sn and does much better with ongoing assessment than one off exams angry

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 16-Sep-12 17:16:57

Its just more battles for teachers to face.

Itchyandscratchy Sun 16-Sep-12 17:30:28

The Singapore system divides children at 10.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 16-Sep-12 17:31:58



Itchyandscratchy Sun 16-Sep-12 17:34:55

Just realised one of my links doesn't work. Try this one re. Singapore. (it's not the most positive though sad)

happybirthdayHiggs Sun 16-Sep-12 17:39:22

I thought I'd read that rather than have separate OLevel/CSE type exams, all kids will sit the same exam but will be able to answer questions of varying value, thus allowing all abilities to complete the exam?

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 16-Sep-12 17:42:21


What worries me most about the separation at 10 yr old is that around here the primaries are very good at teaching to the test.

We get pupils that are 2 or even 3 levels higher than they really are. If that locks them into a higher teir test the connotations are going to leave a reaaly bad taste in the mouth.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 16-Sep-12 17:44:05


Until the actual reports are release it is all rumour.

but it will mean yet another OFSTED change and yet another exam change.

alistron1 Sun 16-Sep-12 17:50:51

I think that the system does need a change - scrapping competing exam boards is a good thing IMHO.

I also welcome a move towards linear courses/terminal exams.

HOWEVER - governments and groups like OFSTED are going to have to accept that grades will go down. Instead of adherence to the current 'one size fits all' system there needs to be an acceptance that for some kids - no matter how much 'value' you add, or how excellent the teaching is - rigourous academic qualifications are not appropriate and that meaningful alternative routes need to be provided.

I would also welcome a move away from league table mentality. This, more than anything else, has damaged the UK education system over the past 2 decades.

A functional skills diploma in english, maths, science, ict is surely more use to kids than a clutch of E's/F's at GCSE/GoveLevel.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 16-Sep-12 17:54:52

The problem is that gove hasn't indicated a move away from league tables

and with the guaranteed drop in results it means that gove will be able to force more schools to becoming academies.

gelatinous Sun 16-Sep-12 17:57:32

I think this is ridiculous, GCSEs are good qualifications. Yes they can be improved: one (or maybe 2) exam boards is not a bad idea; moving to linear is probably quite a good idea too (would end the sort of issues we've had this year for English for example); and controlled assessements could probably be reduced in number or improved on a bit too, but having a single tier isn't a good plan at all imo.

Before I've even seen the details of these proposed changes I'm just so relieved my dc are old enough to be unaffected.

SomePeopleSayImBonkers Sun 16-Sep-12 18:03:06

madhairday I'm in the same boat as you. DS just started Y7, SN and suits ongoing assessment. All of this not only angers me, but scares me. The only thing that I hang on to is the fact that, at current time, I cant see them being re-elected (although, the may use their secret weapon....Boris). If they are not re-elected, I hope that it slows down the process.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Sun 16-Sep-12 18:08:38

Can't see what this two tier system fuss is all about. The current GCSE has three levels (foundation, intermediate, higher). I think it is wonderful that course work and modules are going. Not that it effects me, my youngest is going into her final year at University.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 16-Sep-12 18:09:14

Linear exams AREN'T good for everyone! My DD was predicted borderline C/D grades for modular exams, with maybe a couple of retakes in Maths and English.

She is going to leave school with a clutch of 'U's' because of the change to linear exams for the current Y10.

No school in my town offered an APPROPRIATE vocational option for her - the offers town wide were Hair & Beauty, Childcare or Mechanics. DD wants to be a chocolatier.

Does she need to be able to discuss Shakespeare to design her own range of Chocolates? No. Does she need very basic Maths and an excellent range of Catering skills? Yes. Can these skills necessarily be tested in a one-off Catering exam? No.

I am saddened by the disappointment of my DD, and angry that she has been taught through the SEN help she has had over the last 3 years to pass MODULAR exams, and then this change to linear basically rips away her only chance if gaining meaningful employment as an adult.

These changes will benefit those in the top streams the most, the middle streams not so much, and will be frankly DEVASTATING to the lowest streams.

There is never any mention of decent skills based vocational courses in this.

These changes are going to consign a sizeable portion of the next generation to the scrap heap.

I can't begin to express my dismay at this.

One wonders if Sarah Teathers was removed from her post as she was being relatively vocal about the needs of DC's with SEN. Gove does not give two shiny shots about DC's with SEN, or how this new system will negatively affect both their lives and the lives of their parents, who will be forced to support them for ever if they remain unemployable due to the 'bright shiny new' education system failing them even worse than it already does.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 16-Sep-12 18:12:49

<<Sigh>> Bloody Autocorrect. Gove doesn't give two shiny shits about DC's with SEN. Not shots. Though I fear he would if he could.

SomePeopleSayImBonkers Sun 16-Sep-12 18:13:27

CouthyMowWearingOrange "Gove does not give two shiny shots about DC's with SEN"

spot on

SomePeopleSayImBonkers Sun 16-Sep-12 18:13:58

lol hadn't noticed that myself!

SomePeopleSayImBonkers Sun 16-Sep-12 18:14:29

Gove can jog on

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 16-Sep-12 18:17:47


I doubt that Technology subjects will lose the controlled Assessment aspect as the pupils will need to prove the skills to gain the marks. I am concerned about trying to get pupils to sit 3 hours exams at the end of the course.

wigglybeezer Sun 16-Sep-12 18:26:01

Scotland has just brought in a system which is effectively a two tier system, my DS1 is in the guinea pig year. The lower tier exams are marked in house by the school and only graded pass or fail.

The new curricullum in Scotland is a exploring some of the ideas that gove is talking about but is much nearer the Finnish than the singapore model (no league tables etc, autonomy of schools)) and is "enjoying" a controversial implementation period.

It has some good points but as usual bright but dyslexic pupils like DS1 fall between two schools (he has been put in the lower tier for core subjects and feels the stigma).

wigglybeezer Sun 16-Sep-12 18:26:51

We only have one exam board too, by the way.

happybirthdayHiggs Sun 16-Sep-12 18:32:15

Coming from the era of O'Levels I was very skeptical of the modular way my DC's were taught, but having had 3 DC's go through the education system I have come around to thinking that it's fine. It really isn't that different to having tests at the end of each term in the old manner. And as many university's don't accept resit grades anyway, it really is in the students best interest to do the very best they can first time.
I don't see why a three hour exam should be problematic, if it's what you're prepared for all along you see nothing out of the ordinary about it.
I'm afraid I'm also of the opinion that something seriously needs doing about our exam system. I'm also concerned that with my third (and last) DC taking exams in the last of the GCSE cohort, his results will be dismissed as inferior to the new ones.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 16-Sep-12 18:39:02

I hate the fact that the frankly brilliant Scottish education system is being messed with too.

I attended schools in both England and Scotland, did Y10 & the start of Y11 in 3 different schools, FC. England, then moved up to S4 in Scotland, asked to be moved down, as I would have been able to defer at P1 stage, wasn't the oldest in the year either, and did Standard Grades.

IMO, Standard Grades were taught to a FAR higher level than GCSE's, the sciences were especially rigorous, and far more in depth than GCSE's. The SG's I took taught to what would be AS level in England, in the same time as GCSE's are sat.

Having experienced exam years in both Countries, (I left in 1999), I feel that the Scottish system was what England should aspire to. To see it being dismantled for 'Curriculum for excellence' is saddening me.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now