International GCSEs to be dismissed from league tables from 2017
International GSCEs in English and Maths are to be dismissed from school league tables from 2017 as a part of the governments’ major overhaul of the examination system.
New GSCEs are to be introduced in science, history and geography in 2016 with the first exams to be taken in 2018. The IGSCEs in these subjects will be dropped off from the league tables thereafter.
Although, the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) recognises them as equals, the IGSCEs are considered to be different in structure as they do not share GSCEs reformed exam construction and differ in end-of-course exams and coursework.
It is possible that the IGSCEs could be included in the rankings if they change their course structure accordingly with the new revised GSCE pattern.
General secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Brian Lightman said: “It is important that all qualifications that count in performance tables have an equal level of challenge, and we support moves to ensure that this will be the case in future.”
The IGSCEs were introduced and encouraged to be included in the performance tables in 2010 by the Department of Education (DfE), causing a surge in the number of schools offering the exams.
The IGSCEs’ have gain popularity in recent years with some schools regarding them as a more stringent and preferred exam-based structure over GSCEs. Private schools have long favoured the exams for English.
While the head teachers have welcomed this measure, it is remarked as coming off quite late and could result in a sudden investment in training and resources for schools to offer GSCE exams once again.
Commenting on DfE’s decision Mr Lightman said: “It also has serious consequences for young people. Parents and young people are finding it difficult to make sense of these contradictory and piecemeal changes.”