Gove launches radical reforms to GCSE exams

EDUCATION secretary Michael Gove yesterday pledged to “restore public confidence” in the UK’s exam system as he unveiled radical reforms to the GCSE system.

In a bid to shore up standards almost all coursework will be removed from the qualifications for 16-year-olds. Grades will instead be based largely on tests at the end of a two year course.

Modular papers will be removed, re-sits will be restricted, and there will be a renewed emphasis on traditional subjects such as grammar, British history and classic literature.

Employers and universities also face getting to grips with a new grading system, which replaces the traditional A* to G rankings with the numbers 1-8.

The existing A and A* grades will be equivalent to a 6, 7, or 8 in an attempt to provide greater clarity on performance at the top end.

Pupils will be taught the new syllabus from 2015 onwards, with the first exams sat in 2017.

The Institute of Directors welcomed the changes, saying “business confidence” in the old system had been eroded by grade inflation.