Radical plans for reformed GCSEs, with a harder "pass" grade that is internationally benchmarked to top-performing systems and a new top grade, were unveiled this week. The qualifications will be introduced in England next year, with the first exams in maths, English language and English literature to be sat in 2017. Grades A*-G will be replaced with grades 9-1. It is proposed that grade 9, the top grade, would be achieved by just half the percentage of students currently awarded an A*. Grade 4 would be pegged to the existing C grade. But the "pass" grade - previously used for official judgements on schools - is expected to be a tougher grade 5 and will be set according to standards in high-performing countries. The new system will be accompanied by an annual "national reference test" sat by a representative sample of Year 11 students to help ensure that genuine improvements in performance are reflected in GCSE grades. For more detail and analysis, go to news.tesconnect.com
The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.
Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.