Michael Gove promises to push ahead with abolition of GCSEs

MICHAEL Gove yesterday confirmed plans to replace GCSEs – the standard exam for 16-year-olds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – with a more rigorous qualification based on the old O-level tests by the autumn of 2014.

The education secretary also said he would phase out modular assessment of students in the aftermath of this year’s row over changing boundaries for GCSE grades in English.

Gove said the decision to alter the boundary between a C and a D grade halfway through the academic year was “unfair and inappropriate”.

But he refused calls from opposition politicians to order exam regulator Ofqual to investigate the change in marking standards from one term to another.

“If ministers were to interfere in Ofqual’s decisions they would be meddling where they should not interfere,” he explained.