More details have been provided on the types of qualifications that will be included in the 2017 secondary school performance tables.
The only English and maths qualifications that will count in the tables are reformed courses, the Department for Education (DfE) has announced, confirming that level 1/2 certificates, or IGCSEs, will no longer count in the 2017 rankings.
It says this will ensure there is consistency in terms of exams in these subjects, including linearity (exams at the end of the two-year course) and limited non-exam assessment.
English language, English literature and maths are the first GCSEs to be reformed. The revised subjects will be taught for the first time from September 2015 and pupils will sit exams in summer 2017.
Level 1/2 certificates in subjects being reformed for first teaching from September 2016 (including history, geography, languages and the sciences) will not be included in the 2018 performance tables.
These have been described by the DfE as "transitional arrangements" to ensure all academic qualifications featuring in performance tables are of a comparable standard.
Exam boards will be able to propose alternative academic qualifications for performance tables following the first exams in the new GCSEs; however, they will be required to demonstrate their qualifications are at least as demanding as the new GCSEs and share key characteristics.
All qualifications will need to be accredited by Ofqual, the independent regulator, and alternatives to English and maths could be included in performance tables from 2018.
A DfE spokesman said: "We want all pupils to benefit from the reformed qualifications we are introducing. Improving the exams and curriculum is a key part of our long-term economic plan.
"We want there to be choice in qualifications and would welcome revised level 1/level 2 qualifications being reformed so they can count in performance tables."
In addition, the DfE announced that entries to the current GCSEs in English and maths from 2016 or earlier will not count in performance tables in 2017.
Qualifications in other 'legacy' GCSE subjects will count as further reforms to courses take place. The exclusion of English and maths reflects the weight placed on these qualifications in the new Progress 8 measure.
Posted by Alan Douglas