Gove set to announce major GCSE overhaul
Plans to introduce tough new exams to replace GCSEs are to be announced by Michael Gove and Nick Clegg later today.
Negotiations between the pair have led to modification of Gove’s initial plans, as announced in June. His two-tier, O-Level-style system has been scrapped in favour of a universal set of exams that will be sat by the majority of secondary students.
The introduction of the new syllabus has also been pushed back a year, to 2015, in order to give schools time to prepare for the changes. But this means a Labour government could scrap the reforms, were they to win the 2015 election.
Clegg told the BBC that the reforms would “[…]firstly give parents confidence in the exams their children are taking, secondly raise standards for all our children in schools in the country but thirdly and crucially not exclude any children from the new exam system”.
Students beginning secondary school now would be the first to sit the new exams in 2017. The current system of ongoing modular course work would be replaced by a single three-hour final exam.
The idea is that fewer pupils will achieve top grades; the introduction of a single exam board will also help this, as competition between existing exam boards has made it easier for students to obtain higher marks.
Gove and Clegg will launch the new exam system this afternoon, a day earlier than anticipated, after details were leaked to the Daily Mail at the weekend. They will also release the name of the new exam.