Why more schools are saying yes to the IGCSE

30th August 2013 at 01:00

There was lively debate over the "sudden enthusiasm" for the IGCSE on social media and in the national press last week ("If they cause all this grief, why keep GCSEs at all?", Editorial, 23 August). This enthusiasm is not sudden: take-up of the IGCSE in the UK and worldwide has been growing for several years. In fact, exam entries have doubled each year since it was made available to state schools in 2010.

So why are schools adopting the IGCSE? Feedback from teachers throughout this debate shows that there are, as you would expect, many reasons. Some like its structure, which frees them from the interruptions of modular assessments; others like the fact that there is no controlled assessment, giving them more freedom to plan their lessons; and, during this time of change, many value its stability.

Some schools used the IGCSE this year hoping to boost their students' performance by entering them for more than one exam in the same subject. We believe this practice is misguided and not a sustainable way of improving students' performance. It may explain the behaviour of some teachers but it is in no way reflective of the overall picture.

Di Palmer, Director of assessment services, Cambridge International Examinations.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today