Half new GCSEs and A levels not ready with less than 16 school weeks to go

The TES is reporting that delays to the approval process for new GCSE and A-Levels have resulted in 58 per cent still being in draft form with teachers having little time to make changes.

…education secretary Nicky Morgan admitted that most specifications had still not been approved with just 16 school weeks to go before they are taught.

Figures from exams watchdog Ofqual… show that 66 of 156 specifications have been accredited, leaving 90, or 58 per cent, still in draft form. This includes all GCSE science papers, none of which have yet been officially approved.

Labour shadow education secretary Lucy Powell told the House of Commons today that teachers had been given “just weeks or no time at all” to prepare for the changes.

But Ms Morgan rejected the accusation, claiming that Ms Powell “clearly doesn’t want to raise standards in our education system”.

“Ofqual are working with the exam boards to make sure that all of the specifications are ready,” she said. “We absolutely want to give teachers as much notice as possible.”

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said …

“It’s the second week of March and teachers are still waiting to find out what they are being expected to teach children in September because half of GCSEs and two-thirds of AS and A levels have not been approved by Ofqual,” she said…

More at More than half of new GCSEs and A levels still not ready with less than 16 school weeks to go


The latest details are available from Ofqual at: Accreditation of GCSEs, AS & A levels for teaching from 2016


How concerned are you to hear of these delays and what impact, in reality, will it make on courses due to start in September?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


Most GCSE and A-levels starting in September have not been approved - significant cause for concern?

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  1. brighton118

    SchoolsImprove educationgovuk – Drafts & final specs can be different. That’s the reality – these delays are unacceptable.

  2. Diversionary tactics by Morgan – respond to legitimate criticism by saying the critic doesn’t want to raise standards.
    A huge pile of ordure left by Michael Gove will soon be deposited on Morgan’s head: school place supply; teacher recruitment and retention;  increasing problems with academies (finance and Ofsted criticism of chains); DfE accounts (delayed this year; criticised by NAO for previous two years); changes to exams; late notification of changes to specs, assessment etc; fragmented education system; incoherent and opaque system of RSCs; RSCs v Ofsted; funding.
    Have I missed anything?

  3. TW

    Janet2  Abolishing ‘Levels’ on the alleged grounds that no-one understands them with something virtually incomprehensible?

  4. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove No excuses for this I’m afraid; both DfE and Ofqual to blame but both will “Teflon” it and schools/kids will pick up pieces

  5. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Presumably Glenys Stacey will continue to say that she “regrets nothing” from her tenure at Ofqual. Deluded…

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