Ofqual chief warns government that GCSE changes must be ‘thought through carefully’

Reforms to examinations for 16-year-olds must be “thought through carefully”, the exams watchdog for England has warned the government. The warning comes after Education Secretary Michael Gove announced GCSEs in England would be replaced by an English Baccalaureate Certificate. This is from the BBC…

In a letter to the government, Ofqual says it will advise on whether the timetable for change is achievable.

The first EBC exams, in English, maths and sciences, will be sat in 2017.

Under the changes, now being put out to consultation, pupils starting English, maths and science courses in 2015 will be studying for the English Baccalaureate Certificate or EBCs.

These three core subject areas will be extended later to include history, geography and languages.

In her letter to the Department for Education (DfE), Ofqual chief Glenys Stacey says standards must remain the top priority, with exam boards and schools having a “good enough understanding of what is expected”.

She adds: “We will advise government on the timetable for change, and say if it is not achievable or if the risks to standards or delivery are unacceptable.

“We know from recent experience that reforms to qualifications need to be thought through carefully (we will report on our findings in relation to GCSE English qualifications next month).

“We will wish to identify the delivery pressure points in the reform of GCSEs, and intervene if we need to in order to manage any unacceptable risks.”

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