Policy change in Northern Ireland allows for the teaching of the new 9-1 GCSEs

18 July 2016

On 28 June 2016 the Minister of Education for Northern Ireland, Peter Weir, announced that the newly reformed GCSEs with 9-1 grading from English exam boards can now be offered to students studying at school in Northern Ireland. This reverses the decision taken by the former minister John O’Dowd in November 2015.

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Read the full statement on GCSE qualification market and grading

We are pleased to confirm that we will be offering our GCSE 9-1 qualifications to students in Northern Ireland with immediate effect.

There are two exceptions to this decision as we are unable to meet the requirements of the statutory curriculum for these subjects in Northern Ireland as set out below:

  • In Northern Ireland, for GCSE English Language, the assessment of speaking and listening must be included and contribute towards the overall grade in the award of GCSE English Language, which our specifications do not as they comply with different Ofqual requirements.

  • In Northern Ireland, for GCSE sciences, as with the policy at A level, the assessment of practical skills must be included and contribute towards the overall grade in the award of GCSE sciences. Again, our specifications comply with different Ofqual requirements.

In England, as required by the Ofqual criteria for GCSE (9-1) English Language, speaking and listening must be assessed but will not contribute to the subject grade and instead its completion will be represented on the final certificate as a separate endorsement. For GCSE (9-1) sciences the assessment of practical skills does not contribute to the overall grade.

For further information and enquiries please contact Hannah Hawkins, Media and Communities Manager UK:

hannah.hawkins@pearson.com

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