Ofqual recently launched a consultation into the implementation of reforms to GCSEs in England. Please ensure you take this opportunity to provide feedback to the regulator before 4 November 2011.
What are the key changes proposed?
There are three key changes proposed, two of which will affect GCSE ICT students:
Making all GCSE assessment linear to ensure that GCSE examinations are taken at the end of the course.
Restricting the availability of examinations to the summer only, removing the potential for resitting units. (There will only be retake opportunities in November for GCSEs in English, English Language and Mathematics.)
Proposals for making GCSE ICT assessment linear
For GCSE ICT qualifications awarded after summer 2013:
students will have to enter all the assessment units at the end of the course, at the same time as they enter for the subject award the GCSE examination series will be restricted to May/June students will not be allowed to carry unit results forward from one examination series to another, except where a student wishes to carry forward the result from one or more controlled assessment units in order to retake a whole qualification.
There are no proposed changes to controlled assessment. Centres may continue to schedule controlled assessments at their discretion, as far as this is permitted by the specification. The proposed changes do not mean that controlled assessment tasks must be taken at the end of the course. However, controlled assessments can only be submitted at the end of the course. Teachers must therefore ensure that the controlled assessment task they follow will be valid at the time of submission.
When will the proposed changes take place?
For all two-year GCSE courses starting in September 2012, all examinations will be sat in May/June 2014. This also affects three-year GCSE courses that have already started in September 2011.
How can I provide feedback to Ofqual?
If as a teacher you feel you don’t always get a chance to comment on changes, please take this one! You should read the consultation document on the Ofqual website. There are a variety of ways in which you can respond before the consultation closes on 4 November 2011.
Anyone who wishes to comment on the timing of the move to linear can have their say here.
So what happens next?
We recognise that teachers need to have appropriate time to revise their teaching plans and strategies. We want to keep any changes to a minimum, but we will provide you with full support to implement these reforms. We will also consult with you as much as possible, but please share your views on these proposed changes via our subject communities.
We have no plans to change the subject content of our specifications, but this is subject to the outcome of the consultation and the accreditation of our revised specifications by Ofqual.