Our response to the DfE and Ofqual's decisions on the reform of GCSEs

Here’s our comment on the Department for Education and Ofqual's decisions on GCSE reform, including changing the grading structure and removing coursework.

Pearson has fully engaged with the Department for Education and Ofqual to determine the right format for the reformed GCSE examination. Pearson agrees that action is required to secure the public confidence in the strength and purpose of our education system, and ensure that we are being as ambitious as possible for all young people. British school children must be confident that the qualifications they work so hard to achieve will enable them to go on and succeed in their lives.

Over half a million pupils take core GCSE exams every year, and the process of replacing the GCSE exam needs to be carefully managed. Pearson is committed to working with schools and learners to ensure this period of transition is as smooth as possible.

A Pearson spokesperson

On the reform of the current A*-G grading structure:

Pearson agrees that a change to the grading structure is needed to ensure that new examinations can be clearly differentiated from the current standard.

On the removal of coursework / controlled assessment:

Reducing the role of coursework and controlled assessment will help improve public confidence in GCSEs, and this is in the interests of learners. However, young people in all high-performing education systems increasingly demand those broader skills important for success in employment and in higher education. We will continue our work in the UK and around the world to find new ways to rigorously and reliably assess these skills.

If you are a teacher or exams officer, please see our updated GCSE reform page.