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Campaign launched to raise awareness of new changes to GCSE grading system

27/07/2017 Joanna

The government has provided details of a communications campaign that has been launched to raise general awareness of the new changes to the GCSE grading system.

In a parliamentary written answer, ministers have confirmed that more than £380,000 is being spent to provide public information to students, parents and employers about the revamped system, which replaces letter-based grades with a new numerical scale of one to nine, with nine being the highest grade.

Beginning this summer, GCSE results will begin switching to the new system, with pupils set to receive English and maths results in numerical grades, while other subjects are expected to make the transition over the next few years.

The switch will apply only in England, with GCSEs awarded in Wales and Northern Ireland to retain the letter-based grading system that has been in place since the 1980s. This change coincides with a broader revamp of the approach to designing GCSEs, with the focus moving away from coursework and modules towards results based primarily on attainment in final exams.

A spokesman for Ofqual said: "The money has been spent on the development of original films, which have been viewed around ten million times, as well as printed materials and social media advertising.

"Independent research conducted on our behalf indicates that understanding of the new grades and the reforms has increased as a result of the work we have done."

He added that 600,000 students are set to receive these new-look GCSE grades this summer, making it essential to communicate the function and purpose of these changes to as wide an audience as possible.

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