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In the News

The Future of GCSEs

Sarah Best

6th September 2017

The first GCSE exams took place in 1988 where they replaced a previous qualification system consisting of O-Levels (Ordinary Level) and CSEs (Certificates of Secondary Education). O-Levels were generally taken by students who attended grammar schools whilst CSEs were completed by students who were in secondary modern schools.

The introduction of GCSEs (in 1986) was an attempt by the then Conservative government to modernise and effectively standardise the British education system. Fast-forward 20 years and the secondary qualification system has been shaken-up once again with a move from a grading system A*-G to numbers 1-9 (with a grade 1 being the equivalent of an F or G grade and a 9 being the top grade possible, and also the most difficult to achieve). 

This summer marked the first set of results for these changes with subjects such as maths and English affected, whilst other subjects will follow suit over the course of the next few years. 

BBC News: Schools 'will be treated sympathetically' if GCSEs drop

Sarah Best

Sarah is a passionate full-time Head of Sociology and Psychology and has worked in a variety in schools in the UK, and she is currently working in a British international school. She is keen to develop and boost the profile of both subjects.

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