English exams to get major revisions

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GCSE English qualifications need “substantial” improvement following the fiasco of last year’s exams when thousands of results were challenged, the chief regulator of the examination system in England has warned MPs.

Ofqual chief executive Glenys Stacey said that they were “propping up” the qualification by demanding changes to the way it operates this year, but still expects there to be “variations” between results in different schools.

Giving evidence to the House of Commons Education Committee, Ms Stacey said she will be happy to see the back of modular assessments in GCSE English when they are replaced by end-of-course exams next year.

“Coming fairly new to these qualifications, I think they can be substantially improved and the current design does undermine confidence,” she said yesterday.

Ms Stacey also said she had not yet decided whether to back Michael Gove’s call for GCSEs to be become “single-tier” exams. The Education Secretary wants to scrap the easier “foundation paper” which he sees as undermining aspiration.