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A2 wars – the debate over new exam regime begins

17 September 2012
The government will today announce replacing GCSEs with a new “O-level” type system which will be implemented from 2015.  The proposal is based on there being a single exam operated by a single exam board. This is a marked difference from the current system with its basis in modules, coursework and an exam with variations across different exam boards.  All parties appear to be in agreement for the need to change as long as the new exam system is fairer to all and is able to meet the needs of children across a wide range of ability and correctly assess their levels of achievement.  The proposals should eliminate the prospect of legal challenges to exam marking as has been threatened this summer but given the warnings that levels of achievement may fall, there could be a consequential effect on the “raising standards” agenda and the possibility of greater intervention in schools through forced academisation.

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