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Only 3 of the 156 new GCSEs, AS and A-levels for 2016 approved so far

(16 Posts)
noblegiraffe Fri 16-Oct-15 19:24:51

So it looks like the omnishambles that is the introduction of new GCSEs and A-levels continues.

Teachers said that they needed a year to prepare for the new syllabus, the exam boards submitted their specs and SAMs on time to Ofqual, and Ofqual has rejected most of them. Given that maths only got revised sample assessment materials in July for first teaching in September, I'm wouldn't be confident of approval any time soon.

Marmitelover55 Fri 16-Oct-15 23:32:01

I'm sorry I don't understand what this means, but I have a DD in year 9 so I imagine I should be very worried?

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Oct-15 11:16:47

It means that teachers won't have time to properly prepare for the GCSEs that she will sit and she won't be taught as well as she would have been if they had. She will go into the exam less well-prepared than she deserves to be and the whole experience will be filled with uncertainty, both for her and for her teachers, who will be particularly stressed and overworked because of this.

As the whole country is in the same position, her results should be comparable to everyone else's so long as her teachers are on the ball. But it's totally crap, and entirely down to the government's insistence on rushing these changes through to a political timescale, rather than a sensible one with the best interests of the children and their education in mind.

catslife Sat 17-Oct-15 11:36:44

We are looking at sixth forms for dd, this probably explains why they are being rather vague about A level subject specifications that will be taught for the first time from September 2016. The sixth form college have even offered to email parents with subject updates throughout the year!
Am wondering if this means the specialist sixth form college may be in a better position to deal with curriculum changes as (for most subjects apart from Maths and English resits) they are only having to prepare for the A level changes and not GCSE as well.
What I suspect though is that for GCSE (and new A level) cohorts starting in 2016, the results could be more dependent on the performance of the school (or individual teachers) rather than the pupils themselves. If your child is already at an Outstanding or Good school with respect to management and teaching your child should be OK but is more concerning if they are not.

BobOmb Sat 17-Oct-15 11:49:31

Noble - I totally agree. DD has moved to a new school for 6th form (her old school didn't have one) 3 of her 4 subjects are the new 2 year terminal A levels. They haven't got any text books for History as they haven't been printed yet - they should be out in December (almost half-way into the AS course). When we went for the open evening they told us they couldn't tell us what the controlled assessment part of the course would be as they didn't know yet.

Her English teachers can only give them which band their work is in, not an actual grade as they have no idea of boundaries, though they can make an educated guess. I do feel so sorry for the English teacher as they have had to plan for both the new GCSE and A level for first teaching this year - it's totally shambolic.

IguanaTail Sat 17-Oct-15 13:06:22

Just to agree with you all about how shambolic it all is. I feel so unprofessional telling parents that we just don't know how these GCSEs (that year 9 are now starting at our school) will actually pan out. Just appalling mismanagement of the whole thing.

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Oct-15 20:08:03

Yes to feeling unprofessional at having to admit total ignorance to parents. I like to know what I'm talking about, but despite my best efforts, the information simply isn't out there.

And how unreassuring must that be to parents who want their kids to be taught by experts?

TheStripyGruffalo Sat 17-Oct-15 20:11:45

Will this affect the people who have just started AS levels?

EvilTwins Sat 17-Oct-15 20:15:42

We have 6th form open evening in about 3 weeks and I don't know the details for the course I will be delivering as it's changing massively but the training for it is after the open evening.

BobOmb Sun 18-Oct-15 15:50:08

TheStripyGruffalo - it will affect them if they are in year 12 taking any of the following AS/A levels:

art and design
computer science
English language
English language and literature
English literature

These are the ones with new specifications where the AS level is now a separate qualification and the results don't count towards the A level. Some 6th forms and colleges are making students take the AS levels, but some are just studying towards the terminal A level.

It's a mess really.

TalkinPeece Sun 18-Oct-15 17:34:48

DDs college - where DS will be going is September - has its open evening next week.
They have an intake of 1800 a year so have the resources to do whatever is needed
I feel very, very sorry for any school with a normal number of pupils

OddBoots Sun 18-Oct-15 17:58:23

It does seem like size will make a difference TalkinPeace, some schools have teamed up to take things on together though either through informal partnerships or through active groups like Pixl so when the details are out they can share out the tasks of getting resources ready. Still a long, long way from being the ideal way to make changes though.

EvilTwins Sun 18-Oct-15 20:12:45

My school 6th form is tiny. This year I have my biggest classes ever - 12 in year 13 and 14 in year 12. In the past, when we've had smaller classes, I've been able to join the two year groups together because the course can be taught that way. With the changes, there is absolutely no way I could do that, and do I'm going to have to rely on getting at least 8 in next year's yr 12 otherwise I won't be able to run the course at all. We have fewer that 70 in year 11 this year and I'm not sure I'll get the numbers.

TalkinPeece Sun 18-Oct-15 20:35:19

my school 6th form was 40 per year : only 12 subjects were offered

with the modular system of the last 15 years, even small schools have been able to widen their horizons
and the whole thing has been shat on for entirely political reasons
which will actually most hit the schools in the shires who create the support for the Tories
shoot in foot or what

EvilTwins Sun 18-Oct-15 20:56:50

Our 6th form has about 40 in total. There are only 4 yr 13s who don't take my subject.

The uncertainty is really unhelpful. Kids need to be able to make informed choices.

TheStripyGruffalo Mon 19-Oct-15 20:44:18

BomOmb sh*t. That is all four of the ones that my DC is doing.
Thanks for the info...I think!

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