Pupils who have taken the tougher new GCSE exams will not be at a ‘disadvantage’, the Education Secretary has said.
Damian Hinds’ comments in today’s Daily Telegraph come as pupils who sat the new GCSEs are set to find out their results.
The Catholic minister wrote: ‘To make sure that pupils who take the new GCSEs are not at a disadvantage when compared to those who went before, the independent qualifications regulator Ofqual uses a statistical method called ‘comparable outcomes’.
‘This ensures that broadly the same proportion of pupils will pass, and reach the equivalent of an A grade as in previous years, assuming the ability profile of the pupils is the same.
‘But there is greater differentiation for higher-achieving pupils, with more grades above the ‘standard pass’ level of grade four. This means not as many pupils will get the very highest grade (nine) as previously got an A*.’
He also states ‘this year’s results will be fair to the young people who worked hard for their exams’.
Changes – including some exams being favoured instead of coursework, plus a broader spread of topics on the curriculum – were aimed at bolstering the qualifications so the UK stands alongside top performing countries in the Far East.
Mr Hinds, a practicing Catholic who attended St Ambrose R.C. College in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, says the GCSEs have been reformed, with the support of business, after employers complained the old GCSEs did not provide young people with the skills they needed.
Picture: A teacher during a lesson. ( David Davies/PA).