Gove Levels Part II – Update

(and an apology)

On Wednesday I wrote about the proposed new ‘I – Levels’ and I’m grateful to those of you that have been in touch with me to point out my error. It seems (and this would make sense) that all exams will be taken in June, with resits available only for maths and English in November, not, as I implied, that maths and English final exams would be taken in November, with all other exams being taken in June.

Sorry for any confusion! In my defence, I was summarising from several different sources, at least three of which directly quoted:

“Under the new system, all end-of-course exams will be taken in the summer, except for English and maths papers that will be sat in November.”

But herein lies the problem – no-one has been able to establish the source of the leak and so no confirmation of anything contained in Wednesday’s announcement can be verified or confirmed.

Ofqual are vehemently denying the leak, and they’ve always been water tight in the past, so its reasonable to assume that the leak didn’t come from them.

My guess – and it is only a guess – is that the leak came from somewhere in “Team Gove”, providing another opportunity to promote Michael Gove into the public’s consciousness, all part of the grand master plan to see him one day have the keys to Number 10.

So what can we take away from Wednesday’s leak? The general consensus is that the following three items are likely to be the central pillars of any new exam system:

  • Pupils will be assessed solely on exams at the end of year 11. That means no coursework, with the exception of a 10% practical element in the science subjects and no modular exams during the period of study.
  • The opportunity to take resists will be reduced. With the (possible) exception of English and maths, pupils will have to wait a year before re-sitting any exams.
  • Numerical grading system. Grades 8 to 1 will replace A* to E.

This remains, of course, speculation – Ofqual are about to embark on a period of consultation – but I hope I’ve cleared up any confusion. Sorry!


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