Hundreds of secondaries could drop down the league tables after the government decided that IGCSEs will not count fully for performance measures, TES has learned.
Heads have expressed anger at the decision; the change was discovered after their pupils had already sat the exams, which are used in more than 1,700 schools and colleges.
It is expected that the move will lead to more schools falling short of the crucial GCSE “floor standards”, resulting in some secondaries facing possible government intervention and, ultimately, closure.
Department for Education officials have admitted that the decision, which applies to IGCSEs offered by some exam boards but not others, has nothing to do with the quality or content of the qualifications. They say it is about the timing of their introduction.
AQA and WJEC, the exam boards responsible for the IGCSEs that can only count towards the limited number of “non-GCSEs” allowed in the league tables, said that they were surprised by the news.
The boards had expected the qualifications to count in full.
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