Tuesday, 16 June 2015

New GCSE grades

Confused about the new GCSE grades?

Nicky Morgan today said that the new grade 5 would be equivalent to a “good pass” at GCSE.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-33139954

But just 2 weeks ago, Ofqual released this diagram which clearly suggests that grade 4 is equivalent to a grade C, the grade the Government uses for a “good pass”.  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/431441/2015-06-02-postcard-new-gcse-grading-structure.pdf

So under the new grading system we appear now to have a “pass = 4 = current  C” and “good pass = 5 = top C”.  So which is it?  I suppose it will depend on how Ofsted and/or the Government decide on which grade will be used in league tables, thereby determining where schools are placed in relative performance.

And where does this leave Functional Skills, surely if grade 5 becomes the standard, then it makes the case even stronger for Functional Skills to be the qualification of choice for vocational learners and those for whom a practical qualification in English and maths is better than a fail at GCSE. 

A Level 2 Functional Skills pass will always be seen by employers as much more valuable than a GCSE fail.

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