Details of a new “O-level-style” examination regime to replace GCSEs will be announced this afternoon in the biggest overhaul of secondary school testing for a generation.

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Education Secretary Michael Gove and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will launch the reforms jointly later today.

The changes are designed to introduce “more academic rigour” to exams for 15 and 16-year-olds amid accusations of falling standards and dumbing down since the introduction of GCSEs in the late 1980s.

It will mean an end to modular and rolling assessments and a stronger emphasis on a single, final exam at the end of two years of study.

There will also be a limit to the proportion of top grades awarded in response to years of ever-rising numbers of As and A*s.

But what do you think? Do you welcome the reforms as a much-needed return to tougher assessments? Or will they discriminate against youngsters who have been shown to learn in a number of different ways?

Vote in our poll and leave your comments below.

4 comments

  • they all get given- a- grades anyhow.in my day it was tough to get -a -grades.

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    bookworm

    Monday, September 17, 2012

  • All governments alter and mix so-called new ideas with past best-thing-since-sliced-bread education systems. But they usually fail as history has shown us well. What politicians do not comprehend is that to excel in future times education has to driven by creative interest. Build our education system around this concept and we would lead the world. But again it also has to be said that politicians do not know the difference between perceived higher intelligence and higher creative thinking. The two are totally different as the history of S&T has shown us throughout millennium. In this respect the best educated minds are not the best creative minds. Indeed, many of the world's greatest technological inventions that have changed our modern world were not at the fundamental level conceived in our universities or advanced corporate centres of R&D, but in the confines of a special individual's private environment, far, far remote from the perceived environments of educational excellence. Indeed Kilby, Baird, Fleming, Berners-Lee, Whittle and Edison to name only a few conceived their ideas out of personal interest and where no employer or institution had any bearing on their thoughts at the fundamental thought level. In the case of Kilby who invented the 'chip' in his own spare time and when he initially showed his employer Texas Instruments his prototype, they simply did not want to know. Now the 'chip' underpins a global industry turning over around $2 trillion a year and where probably it is the greatest technological wealth creator of all time. Therefore we have to come away from the education thinking that has not worked in the past, will not work in the future and move towards creative interest-driven education. For this thinking will initiate a nation of excellors, not the unfit-for-purpose failures of the past. This goes doubly sure in industry where it is creative thinking that is vitally needed to conceive the next global level of technological industries. Indeed we would be far better off economically in the future if creativity and innovation were driving our education system and not the basics that have failed the nation in the past. Will politicians ever listen? I very much doubt it and where in another 10-years time they will be moving the deck chairs around the Titanic again to no avail. And with that the sheer waste of locked-in talent that is totally unoptimized by the present and prevailing educational systems that have been spawned since after WW2 and have so badly failed the nation and the people of this country. Time for great change therefore, but the right change. For it is time that those looking in at the problem were given a seat at the table and where they can see the wood for the trees. Will Whitehall allow this? I fear not as they are seen as the so-called elite of our society and have all the answers. But history of course says something totally different and where we are today predominantly because they have always got it so terribly wrong. Oxbridge is not therefore where the great thinking comes from to create multi-trillion technological industries but second division universities usually, just like the one that Kilby went too and could not get into MIT (voted recently the top university in the world). It is a fallacy therefore that only Oxbridge can provide our nation with a future, but that is exactly what Whitehall have thought for decades and where it has got us nowhere but in a downward spiral of economic decline. Time has come therefore I feel to come out of this misconception and to consider highly creativity people over the perceived higher intelligent people that pervades our current society. Dr David Hill World Innovation Foundation United Kingdom - Switzerland

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    david hill

    Monday, September 17, 2012

  • This will sort out the good teachers from the rubbish ones !

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    "V"

    Monday, September 17, 2012

  • I agree that our young people need to benefit from a top class education but why is it always assumed that an end of year exam is the only way worth using to evaluate a pupil's ability? This move back to the old style of system will be great for those who are good at doing exams but it will not guarantee that 16 year olds will be ready for the next stage of their life, be that further education, apprenticeship or entering the world of work. We have got to start recognising that there is more than one route you can follow to achieve success - traditional exams followed by university is one way but it is not the only way and alternative options should not be dismissed as second-rate. I work in business but also work with a charitable trust trying to support young people to make informed choices about their future by linking them up with industry to show them the opportunities which are out there on their doorstep but which they know nothing about. We meet fantastic, enthusiastic young people who rise to the challenge once they realise what is out there to aim for. I am also a school governor which has really opened my eyes to what schools have to contend with. What I experience first hand, bears no resemblance to what is peddled in the media regarding teachers - it's easy to criticise from afar or remember the good old days with rose tinted glasses. We also need to remember that at the heart of all that is going on with the education system, we are dealing with children, not robots.

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    Row71

    Monday, September 17, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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