GCSE Reforms


Commenting ahead of the Secretary of State’s announcement on GCSE reforms, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“It is legitimate for any Government to keep the qualification system under review and, where necessary, develop proposals to reform it to ensure continued fitness for purpose.

“However, it is reasonable to expect governments to ensure that their proposals for reform are based on evidence, are developed in partnership with all relevant stakeholders, and seek to work in the best interests of all pupils. Unfortunately, this Government’s qualifications agenda continues to fail even these basic tests.

”The Government has tried consistently to portray GCSEs as broken qualifications. The fact is, however, that the GCSE has proved itself to be a robust and reliable qualification. Survey evidence from higher education institutions and from employers also dispels the myth that these sectors have no trust in GCSEs.

”The Government often points to a lack of public confidence in GCSEs. But any damage that may have been done to public confidence is a result of an inaccurate and ideologically driven media attack on the qualification, undertaken with the active support of the Government, rather than any inherent and demonstrable problem with GCSEs.

“At the same time this announcement is made, it is pertinent that the Select Committee report into GCSE English issued a timely and informed warning to the Westminster Government on the implications of its qualification reform agenda for the coherence of the examinations system across the UK.”

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