Exams regulator Ofqual is due to publish its findings on the gradings in the GCSE English paper today. The afternoon is yawning along, though, and there’s still no sign of the report, so while you’re all waiting with bated breath, here’s an update on the wider picture on GCSE reform.
Michael Gove rather shocked the rest of the coalition government earlier this summer when his plan to abolish GCSEs and replace them with a two-tier O level-style exam system appeared on the front page of the Daily Mail. Since then, he and his advisers have been deep in negotiation with the Liberal Democrats on what an acceptable reform might look like. The Lib Dems dug their heels in on the idea of a two-tier exam system, and it looks as though they have won: Gove has already said the O level plan won’t grow legs.
I understand that the government will make an announcement on the way forward for GCSE reform in the next few weeks. It will include the acceptance that two-tier exams won’t return, and it will also detail the areas that the Lib Dems were more than happy to sign up to in the plan that was leaked to the Mail. They agree, for instance, that each subject should be offered by one exam board only, to prevent teachers choosing the board with the easiest exam papers to ensure the best grades for their pupils.
Gove is up before MPs on Monday for education questions in the Commons, and will face the Education Select Committee the following week. He’ll almost certainly face questions from one of those groups about his plans. It will be interesting to see whether his Liberal Democrat colleague Sarah Teather and other Lib Dems in government decide to trumpet this as a victory for their party.
UPDATE, 4.20pm: Five minutes later, the Ofqual report appears. I’ll blog separately on this shortly, but you can read it for yourself here.Tags: Education, GCSEs, Michael Gove, UK politics