Four more qualifications culled but GCSE geology and A level creative writing amongst those spared

The Times is reporting that while geology and creative writing are among four subjects given a late ­reprieve in an Ofqual cull of GCSE and A-level qualifications, four others are to be scrapped…

The move is part of the ongoing attempt by Ofqual to remove qualifications either deemed to overlap with other subjects or seen as unsuitable to more rigorous assessments being introduced to create tougher standards.

Eight subjects remained under review – four at GCSE and four at AS and A level. of these, Ofqual has now announced that four will be saved with new content developed:

  • GCSE geology
  • AS and A level creative writing
  • AS and A level health and social care
  • AS and A level music technology

However, the other four will be withdrawn and will not be available to teach from September 2017:

  • GCSE environmental and land-based science
  • GCSE health and social care
  • GCSE home economics: child development
  • AS and A level international development

The report points out that the exercise has already resulted in a number of high-profile casualties including A levels in anthropology, critical thinking, engineering and performing arts, along with GCSEs in law, catering, general studies and environmental science.

More at: No place for GCSE home economics (subscription may be required)


See all the detail direct from Ofqual in a pdf at: Further Decisions for Completing GCSE, AS and A Level Reform in 2017


Your thoughts on these decisions from Ofqual? 

Are you involved in the teaching of one of the subjects to be withdrawn? if so, what happens next? Will you instead teach an alternative subject?

Please give us your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. SemiSpouts

    SchoolsImprove…so GCSEs in health & social care &child developt, AS/A level intl developt=/ valid topics for 14 & 16 y/o? #time4arethink?

  2. Here are my thoughts on the Anthropology cut (originally posted in the comments of this Huffington Post piece petitioning for it to be kept: “Well, you’ve put Anthropology on my radar! What a great pitch for the subject as a whole. I’ll keep an eye out for a MOOC, but I’m just not sure how worthwhile the effort is to stop AQA’s decision. This is an exam board and it’s purpose is to assess, not to inspire uptake of the subject and, if it doesn’t make business/time sense for them to continue assessing this, they’ll stop. Let them. You have a talent for inspiring interest in the subject. I’m now interested. But I’m not looking for an A Level course to satisfy my interest: 2 years of a rigid syllabus and silent hand written exam at the end? no thanks. I’m now looking for blogs/forums/online discussions. What if students, inspired to study this subject, did this too? Then they can take what they learn and write an essay/blog or do a project… much more real and useful to the world than doing an exam and getting a grade to stick on an application form. Anthropology is too big and too important for one exam boards decision to matter.” I’d apply this to other subjects too.

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