'Championing the rights of children'

New GCSE grading 'will de-motivate less able pupils'

Garry Sat 16 Nov 2013 09:40

New GCSE English exams in England will have a grading system that will de-motivate less able pupils, English teachers say.

Academic Bethan Marshall says she understands the equivalent of a "C" in the new exam will have two grades below it instead of the current four.

Ms Marshall, chair of an English teachers' association, says the grading will be "hugely demoralising".

England's exams regulator Ofqual says no decisions have been made on grades.

Education Secretary Michael Gove is bringing in the changes to toughen up a system which he says was "dumbed down" and damaged by "grade inflation".

New-style GCSEs are due to be introduced in the core subjects of English and maths from autumn 2015, with the first exams being taken in 2017.

New GCSEs in other subjects will follow.

'Why bother?'
Exams will be taken after two years rather than in stages, coursework will be scrapped for most subjects and more marks will be allocated for spelling, punctuation and grammar than at present.
In Northern Ireland no changes to GCSEs are planned. A recent review concluded there was "no case for replacing A-levels or GCSEs in the short or medium term".

Grading is being changed from letters (A* to G) to numbers from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest.

Pupils who fail will be awarded a "U" for an unclassified result.

When confirming details of the changes earlier this month, Ofqual said decisions on equivalent grades between the two types of GCSE would follow a consultation and a debate with the public about "where standards should be set".

Ms Marshall, from King's College London, has told the BBC she understands that for English at least, there will only be one or two grades below the equivalent of a C.

Read more... (BBC News - 16 November)