DfE announcement on redevelopment of GCSE ICT for September 2017

4 November 2015

On 3 November 2015, the Department for Education (DfE) announced its decision that GCSE IT qualifications cannot be developed for first teaching in September 2017 as a replacement for current GCSE ICT qualifications.

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This means that the last examinations for GCSE ICT will be in summer 2018. Thereafter, your learners will only have the option of studying:

We have been working with the Department for Education, Ofqual, the other Awarding Organisations and subject stakeholders over the past ten months to develop subject content for a reformed GCSE IT qualification, and are disappointed that the decision has been made not to reform this subject.

We remain committed to supporting you, and we will continue to share information with you over the coming months.

Find out more about DfE's decision

Further information, support and guidance

Please make sure you are signed up to receive e-updates from our subject advisor, Tim Brady, to ensure you are kept up-to-date with the latest news. This will include further details about our alternative qualifications, including:

  • GCSE Computer Science, which has recently been accredited
  • vocational IT qualifications.

We will also provide support and guidance for transitioning your students to these alternatives.

If you have any questions, please contact Tim Brady, your ICT and Computer Science subject advisor:

  • email: TeachingICT@pearson.com
  • telephone: (020) 7010 2161

DfE decision on redeveloping GCSE ICT qualifications

In the Department for Education's Further additional GCSE and A level subject content consultation (pp. 10-11) it states that:

"The reformed computer science GCSE and A levels provide a strong foundation for further academic and vocational study and for employment. Students will develop the computational thinking skills needed for today’s economy – including coding and important information technology topics such as cyber security, networking and data storage. In the last year alone, the numbers studying computer science GCSE have more than doubled.

"It is right that schools continue to focus on the digital knowledge that will best prepare young people for further study and employment. Ministers have therefore taken the decision not to approve two GCSEs and A levels in a similar qualification space. The IT GCSE and IT A level will not be redeveloped. The reforms of academic qualifications that are underway are the most significant changes since the introduction of GCSEs.

"These are just one part of our ambitious reform programme to give young people the skills they need to get on in life. The priority for now is to give schools time and space to provide excellent and inspiring teaching of the new qualifications. We therefore do not intend to reform any further qualifications in 2018 beyond the lesser taught languages that we have already committed to."

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