Update on reform of GCSEs

Ofqual has indicated that work is to be undertaken to strengthen the assessment arrangements in some GCSE subjects in England.

Head of Qualifications and Skills Accreditation at CCEA, Roger McCune commented:

"GCSEs remain first class qualifications, that are valued by employers and provide an excellent preparation for further study at A level.

All GCSE qualifications are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they continue to meet the needs of learners and users, particularly employers and higher education.

We are required to ensure that qualifications offered in Northern Ireland are equivalent in standard to those offered elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Robust measures are in place to ensure this, such as standards reviews and scrutiny exercises.

CCEA continues to work closely with our regulatory partners in England and Wales to ensure consistency in standards across all qualifications.

Some work is currently underway to ensure that the assessment arrangements for GCSE Geography, History, English literature and Mathematics do not allow for any narrowing of the teaching of the specification. CCEA will engage fully with the Welsh Government and Ofqual in this joint work.

In the coming weeks it is expected that the Minister for Education in Northern Ireland will make a statement on whether unitised assessment arrangements will continue to be allowed within GCSEs here. In England all GCSE assessments will be taken at the end of the course from 2014. This again raises challenges for standards and CCEA we will be working to ensure comparability of standards is maintained."

Note to Editors

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