One of the biggest gripes about Michael Gove’s GCSE reforms from those on board with the changes is that they won’t come into effect until after the 2015 election. Supporters wonder why there is such a lag between ministers reaching agreement about scrapping an exam that they currently believe is not fit for purpose, and pupils sitting down to take the new qualification. The answer is that it was part of the deal that was reached with Nick Clegg, who was initially upset about the direction of the changes.
The Independent reports today that Gove does have an interim plan, though. To underline the fact that he has little faith in existing GCSEs, he is encouraging state schools to put their pupils through IGCSEs instead. These exams are popular with private schools because they place greater emphasis on examinations at the end of the year, and the Education Secretary believes they might be an ‘appropriate qualification’ for the new English Baccalaureate.
The National Union of Teachers has said schools will ‘not want to swap and change courses on such a short-term basis’, but even if they are comfortable with the current GCSE system, many may feel the impending reform devalues the qualification to the extent that IGCSEs are the only attractive option.