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Proposed GCSE reforms could be detrimental to many students

Thursday 21-08-2014 - 00:00

The Government's planned reforms to GCSE’s (the most significant set of reforms in the history of these qualifications) could be detrimental to students.

 
Under the new reforms modular courses would be scrapped and linear assessment would be introduced. 
 
This would mean that exams would be taken at the end of a two year course, rather than on a modular basis.
 
GCSE grades would also change from letters to numbers, and the pass mark would be pushed higher. Over 80 per cent of the students polled by NUS said that the current system of grading did not need replacing and 90 per cent of respondents to the survey agreed that students should be given the opportunity to re-sit in all subjects.
 
Speaking about GCSE results day, Joe Vinson, NUS vice president (further education), said:
 
"Results day is the start of a really important time for so many of our members, as they receive the letters that will lead them onto the next steps of their lives.
 
“If your GCSE results and aren’t sure what you want to do next, don’t panic…
 
“More and more pupils are choosing to go outside the traditional A level route by taking up apprenticeships and working towards other vocational qualifications. Whatever happens, there should be options available for you.”
 
On the Government's proposed GCSE reforms, Joe Vinson added:
 
“It’s absolutely unacceptable to expect students to learn for two years solid and then be assessed solely at the end with no testing on a modular or even yearly basis. It is detrimental to many students who are perfectly able to understand and apply knowledge, but who may struggle with anxiety when under pressure.
 
“Denying students the chance to re-sit goes against one of the most important things about further education.
 
“It will set up a system that will only benefit those who never make a mistake rather than those who need a second chance. 
 
“We want effective and rigorous GCSEs, but ones that prepare our students not only for the next step in their lives, but for the whole journey. We need a curriculum and assessments that allows all students to achieve to the best of their ability that showcases the strengths of many, not the privilege of a few.”

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