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Michael Gove to replace GCSEs with O-Level style exams

Written on:September 3, 2023
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Michael Gove admits students to have been graded unfairly

After Ofqual admitted to its folly regarding the grading fiasco, Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has confirmed that the GCSEs will be replaced with a more stringent qualification system similar to the O-Levels.

An announcement on this replacement for GCSEs is likely to be made in the autumn after consultation, which would also christen the new exam, Gove said.

Gove joined the exams regulatory in admitting that students who appeared for GCSE exams this year to have been treated ‘unfairly’, but disappointingly said that it was beyond him to adjust the grade boundaries.

Pupils of all abilities can appear for the new exam which is likely to be launched in 2014, unlike O-Levels which were taken by only the most academically able, restricting other students to CSEs.

The Education Secretary said he would not interfere to order Ofqual for reassessment of the papers of those who felt that they had been unfairly graded. He also refused to order tougher marking for this summer’s examinations, saying that it would be inappropriate for ministers to interfere.

“I think it’s vital we move away from examinations that so far… haven’t worked and haven’t served students well”, the Education Secretary said.

On Friday, Ofqual denied re-marking the June papers but said students who took GCSE English and English language exams in England and Wales this summer would be offered special resits in November, which was opposed by teachers who complained that such resits would be of no use to pupils who needed their results now.

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