Writing in the Telegraph, schools minister Nick Gibb says students can expect to receive a higher standard of qualification as a result of recent and planned reforms.
…We owe it to young people to ensure that the qualifications they sit match the standards of the highest performing systems around the world. In the past, the grades students received were inflating. In 1994, the first year in which the A* was awarded at GCSE, 13% of grades were either A* or A – this proportion increased to 23% by 2010.
Despite this apparent improvement, real standards were stagnating. In tests taken by 15- and 16-year-olds in 2012, before our education reforms had been implemented, England was the only country in the OECD in which the literacy and numeracy skills of young people were no better than those of their grandparents’ generation: adults aged 55-to-65 performed better in literacy and numeracy than those aged 16-to-24.
From 2010, the Government, working closely with Ofqual, the independent regulator, took swift action to restore rigour to A levels and GCSEs. The option to take AS and A level modules in January has been removed, giving pupils more time to focus on studying the content. At GCSE, pupils are now required to take all exams at the end of their course. These changes give teachers more time to teach, and put an end to the expectation of endless resits. Ofqual has halted inexorable grade inflation, and is introducing a new National Reference Test to provide a reliable measure of standards over time. ..
Further improvements, to be introduced from September, are essential. But thanks to the hard work of students, the support of their teachers, and reforms already introduced, we can be proud that the young people collecting their results on Thursday will be among the best qualified in a generation…
There’s much more detail of the changes and Nick Gibb’s rationale for them in the full article.
How do you respond, however, to the overall premise that students getting their results this summer will be receiving a higher standard of qualification than in some time?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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