The Government plans to offer 14-year-olds the option of short GCSE courses in history, geography, art, music and PE beginning in September 1996, writes Diane Hofkins.
They are intended to take about half the time of an ordinary GCSE but to retain the depth.
Under plans for changes to the key stage 4 curriculum to take effect in September 1996, the Dearing Review set out criteria for short courses in modern languages and technology, which must still be studied by 14 to 16-year-olds.
Art, music, history and geography do not have to be studied at key stage 4, and PE does not have to be studied to exam standard.
The new short courses are meant to help increase breadth and flexibility in the courses schools can offer.