Qualifications counting in future performance tables

Wed Jul 30 14:12:00 UTC 2014

On 24 July 2014, the Department for Education (DfE) published an update on the types of qualifications to be counted in 2017 school performance tables.

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Read the Department for Education's full update to the qualifications counting in future performance tables.

The only English qualifications that will count in the 2017 secondary school performance tables will be reformed GCSEs.

English language and English literature are amongst the first GCSEs to be reformed. They will be taught for the first time from September 2015, with pupils sitting exams in summer 2017.

The current arrangements for recognising other academic qualifications, such as level 1/level 2 certificates (sometimes known as International GCSEs) will end with the introduction of reformed GCSEs. Level 1/level 2 certificates in English will not be included in the 2017 performance tables (due to be published in January 2018).

This follows advice from the regulator, Ofqual, about the challenges of including academic qualifications that could potentially be quite different from GCSEs in performance tables for 2017.

These are transitional arrangements to make sure all academic qualifications recognised in performance tables are of a comparable standard. Following the first exams in the new GCSEs, exam boards will be able to propose alternative academic qualifications for inclusion in performance tables. They will need to demonstrate that their qualifications are at least as demanding as the new GCSEs and share key characteristics.

All qualifications will need to be accredited by Ofqual. New alternatives to English could be recognised in performance tables from 2018.

Alongside these changes, the DfE confirmed that entries to the current GCSEs in English and maths from 2016 or earlier will not count in performance tables in 2017.

Schools may still enter pupils early for these 'legacy' qualifications, but if they do, pupils will need to either take the new GCSE in 2017 or progress to a higher level qualification, such as an AS level qualification, for their achievements to count in tables.

The exclusion of 'legacy' GCSEs from performance tables will apply only to English and maths, reflecting the weight placed on these qualifications in the new Progress 8 measure.

FAQs

How does this announcement affect my school's curriculum planning in relation to offering Edexcel Certificates in English language and English literature?

For English results to count in the 2017 performance tables, students can only take the reformed GCSEs in English language and in English literature.  

Year group and academic year Course duration and year of certification Qualifications Recognition in school performance measures
Year 10, September 2014  Two-year course, certificating in 2016  Edexcel Certificates in English language and in English literature  Results count in school performance measures in 2016 
Year 10, September 2015  Two-year course, certificating in 2017  Reformed GCSEs in English language and in English literature  Results count in school performance measures in 2017 

How does this announcement affect curriculum planning for the current GCSEs in English?

The results for current GCSEs will count in school performance tables in 2016 for the last time. Students can commence two-year courses in September 2014 and have their results counted in school performance measures in summer 2016.

What about Year 9 students commencing three-year KS4 models in September 2014?

If the intention is that these students take their GCSEs in Year 11, they will need to be taught the reformed GCSE 9 to 1 specifications. If the English result is to be double-weighted in performance tables, they will need to attempt both English literature and English language. If the intention is that they take one or both GCSEs in Year 10 (summer 2016) then these results will not count in 2017 tables.

What will happen to Edexcel Certificates in English after summer 2016?

You will still be free to offer Edexcel Certificates but your students' results will not count in school performance tables after summer 2016. After summer 2017, following the DfE guidance, we may choose to redevelop the Certificates and propose their inclusion in future performance tables.

How are International GCSEs affected by this announcement?

Our well-established International GCSEs are not affected by GCSE and accountability reform, as they do not count in school performance tables. These qualifications are primarily offered by international centres, and independent schools in the UK. These schools may continue to offer the current specifications until further notice.

Regards,

Clare

Clare Haviland, English subject advisor
Clare HavilandEnglish
UK: 020 7010 2183
Intl: +44 (0)20 7010 2183
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