GCSE reforms

The Department for Education and Ofqual have announced that GCSEs will be changing over the next few years. 

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DfE and Ofqual consultations

DfE and Ofqual have launched consultations for subjects that will be first taught in 2017

The DfE is consulting on the proposed subject content. Ofqual is consulting on the proposed assessment objectives and non-examined assessment percentages.

Subjects

The consultations include the following subjects:

  • GCSE Astronomy
  • GCSE Business
  • GCSE Psychology.

Awarding organisations are continuing work to develop the content for the remaining subjects.

Where content for a subject is developed to meet Ofqual principles and DfE guidance, it will be included in a consultation to be published in Autumn 2015. This will include the following Pearson qualifications:

  • GCSE IT
  • GCSE Statistics.

Closing dates

The consultations will be open for approximately 2 months.

Consultation Closing date
Ofqual 24 September
DfE 30 September

How to contribute

Please contribute to the consultations; it is important that your views are heard.

For details on how to view and respond to the consultation documents, please see the relevant subject page.

GCSE reforms timeline

GCSEs are being reformed in phases.

Phase 1: First teaching September 2015

We've developed new specifications for English Language, English Literature and Mathematics.

Phase 2: First teaching September 2016

We're planning to develop specifications for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Combined Science, History, Geography, French, German, Spanish, Art and Design, Computer Science, Music, Physical Education, Citizenship Studies and Religious Studies. 

Phase 3: First teaching September 2017

We're planning to develop specifications for Astronomy, Business, Design and Technology, ICT, Psychology, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Urdu, Modern Greek and Statistics.

Current GCSEs - phase 1 subjects

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

May/June 2014

Current GCSEs available as  linear qualifications - summer exam series only.

 

November 2014

Exams in English, English Language, and Mathematics available as a resit opportunity only. Linear assessment only.

May/June 2015

Summer exam series for current GCSEs, linear qualifications only.

 

November 2015

Exams in English, English Language, and Mathematics available as a resit opportunity only. Linear assessment only.

May/June 2016

Final summer exam series for current GCSEs in English, English Language, English Literature, and Mathematics.

 

November 2016

Final exam resit opportunity for current GCSEs in English, English Language and Mathematics. Linear assessment only.

   

New GCSEs - phase 1 subjects

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

September 2014

Specifications for new GCSEs available in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics – phase 1 subjects.*

September 2015

First teaching of new GCSEs included as phase 1 subjects.

 

May/June 2017

First exam series for new GCSEs in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics – phase 1 subjects.

 

November 2017

First November exams for new GCSEs in English Language and Mathematics – new post-16 for phase 1 subjects.

 

*Subject to Ofqual accreditation.

Current GCSEs - phase 2 subjects

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

 

May/June 2015

Summer exam series for current GCSEs, linear qualifications only.

May/June 2016

Summer exam series for current GCSEs, linear qualifications only.

May/June 2017

Final summer exam series for current GCSEs in phase 2 subjects, linear qualifications only.

 

New GCSEs - phase 2 subjects

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

 

September 2015 Specifications for new GCSEs available in phase 2 subjects.*

September 2016

First teaching of new GCSEs included as phase 2 subjects.

 

May/June 2018

First exam series for new GCSEs – phase 2 subjects.

*Subject to Ofqual accreditation.

Current GCSEs - phase 3 subjects

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

 

May/June 2016

Summer exam series for current GCSEs, linear qualifications only.

May/June 2017

Summer exam series for current GCSEs, linear qualifications only.

May/June 2018

Final summer exam series for current GCSEs in phase 3 subjects, linear qualifications only.

 

New GCSEs - phase 3 subjects

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

 

September 2016 
Specifications for new GCSEs available in phase 3 subjects.*

September 2017
First teaching of new GCSEs included as phase 3 subjects.

 

May/June 2019

First exam series for new GCSEs – phase 3 subjects.

*Subject to Ofqual accreditation.

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