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Scrapping GCSEs & Learning From Mistakes

GCSE and A Level shake-ups over the past academic year have left a number of subjects off the availability list for students, as well as causing the merger of certain vocational and arts subjects into one core course.

At The Academies Show in Birmingham on November 23rd 2016, you will be able to hear from experts from high-performing academies and organisations on the future of GCSEs and the impact this will have on pupils at schools and academies across England. These include the Executive Headteacher of the Rodillian Multi-Academy Trust and Julie Swan, the Executive Director for General Qualifications at Ofqual. View her session here.

The recent GCSE reforms have received a mixed reaction from schools, pupils and assessors alike, and new research has shown that changes made to the ICT exam may have been “a mistake.”

Research body CREST performed a survey that resulted in a number of respondents stating that they believed that the 2016 change in ICT GCSE qualification which saw it replaced by a more general ‘computer science’ subject may have been an error, as schools and exam boards do not predict that pupils will migrate towards taking the new topic now that ICT has been ruled out as an option in Year 10.

The new computer science exam, however, is contained within the overall English Baccalaureate (EBacc) qualification, leading a number of schools to adopt the new subject in order to offer their pupils a more holistic education within the EBacc, and to maintain or improve upon their position in school league tables for both ICT based courses, and the EBacc as a whole.

Others have praised the change, celebrating the fact that the previous ICT exam was very ‘Microsoft heavy,’ and therefore didn’t fully prepare pupils for a career or deeper interest in the topic. The computer science qualification will offer a more in-depth look at coding and software, making it more inspiring for pupils hoping to join that field after leaving school.


To find out more about the latest GCSE reforms, register for your free ticket to The Academies Show at the NEC in Birmingham on November 23rd 2016 here.

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