The GCSE exams are suffering from their own exam and found to have failed. The replacement for the GCE ‘O’ level exam is floundering. Concerns from teachers, parents, employers and further education establishment have all conspired to criticise the format of the GCSE. A significant contributory factor was the competition between exam boards who set the exams, which drove the quality down as they competed for sales proffering supposed improved performance to schools.
A further concern is the timescale taken to form this opinion. GCSE’s have been in place since 1984.
The trouble is the replacement will leave a cohort of pupils and employers confused as to the relative exam success achieved by children with GCSE compared to their replacement. Comparing eggs with eggs will be problematic. The timing of the GCSE debate is compounded by the changes currently being effected with ‘A’ level exams. Throw in further debate over the variable quality between exam boards, and assuming that school leavers can find a job, they may have a torrid time explaining the value of their academic achievement to a prospective employer.