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News - 3 April 2014

New High Grade GCSE proposed

The Ofqual exam regulator has launched a consultation on a grading system that will rank from nine at the very top down to one for the lowest performers.

The substantial changes, being put out for consultation, would provide a much clearer distinction between high-flying pupils currently achieving A and A* grades.

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS and an active school governor comments:
“The substantial changes, being put out for consultation ready for introduction from 2017, would provide a much clearer distinction between high-flying pupils currently achieving A and A* grades. The highest grade - to be described as a grade nine - will be awarded to only half the pupils now achieving an A*, according to Ofqual's proposals.”

In last summer's GCSE exams, there were 6.8% of pupils graded as A*. The new highest grade would be awarded to only the top 3%, or about 20,000 pupils. Under the new system, an A grade would equate to a grade seven - and the current C grade, widely seen as the pass level, would become a grade four.

For the first time, there will be a link between England's exam grades and international Pisa tests benchmarks.

A sample of pupils will also take a new test - the National Reference Test - which will be used to monitor the performance of each cohort, so that examiners will have a reference point for differences in ability between different year groups.

These changes will begin with three subjects - maths, English language and English literature. These will be the first wave of tougher GCSEs, to be taught from September 2015, with the first awards under the proposed new system in summer 2017.

Ofqual chief Glenys Stacey says the changes are intended to "strengthen awarding" and to give greater accuracy in grades.

But she said that Ofqual would listen to views on the proposed amendments, and they were "not a done deal".

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association for School and College Leaders, said there were still "parts of the puzzle" missing in how the new system would work.
"We welcome the proposal to introduce a reference test, which will help to make an objective judgement about whether standards have improved or not year or year. The careful consideration being given to different ways of awarding grades is also welcome."

  • GCSE GRADE PROPOSALS
  • GCSEs to be graded from nine to one, replacing A*-to-G grades
  • Grade nine will be highest, at standard equivalent to top half of A*
  • Grade five will be linked to international Pisa tests
  • Grade four will be equivalent to current C grade
  • Grade one will be F and G grades

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers
Great with people
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

Helping Your Business is Our Business

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