GCSEs in England are set to be overhauled by the government in a move designed to make exams more challenging.
Education secretary Michael Gove told the House of Commons yesterday (June 11th) of the plans, which will see the traditional A*-G marking system scrapped in favour of a numerical system running from eight to one.
The new system will be introduced from the start of the 2015-16 academic year and Mr Gove is confident the changes are going to help schools in England "compete with the best in the world".
Among the subjects affected by the overhaul are English, maths, science, history, geography and modern and ancient languages - a period of consultation will be held over the next ten weeks.
According to Mr Gove, the recent Education Select Committee report into the standard of exams demonstrated how "we need to reform our examination system to restore public confidence".
Under the new GCSEs, the reliance on coursework will be removed, as pupils will face a series of tests at the end of a two year learning period. This means teachers will have to alter their practices in order to implement the new strategies.
Speaking about the need for reforms, Mr Gove said: "This higher level of demand will equip our children to go onto higher education or a good apprenticeship - and we can raise the bar knowing that we have the best generation of teachers ever in our schools to help students achieve more than ever before."
He added a number of improvements have already been made to the education sector since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat alliance came to power, such as a strengthened Ofsted, a rise in the number of academies and a boost to teacher training.
The politician revealed Ofqual has been asked to look at how GCSEs can become more "rigorous and stretching", while he is keen to see a grading system introduced that better reflects the range of student abilities.
Posted by Theo Foulds