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Detail of outcome
We have decided to adopt some of our proposed rules and guidance for reformed GCSEs in computer science. We have also made a number of changes to reflect concerns raised in response to our consultation. In particular, we have:
- changed our approach to setting non-exam assessment tasks - we will now permit exam boards to set tasks themselves, as well as approaches that use teacher-set tasks
- decided not to make exam boards use statistical moderation at this time - we will instead carry out further work to determine the controls (and support for teachers) that will be needed to ensure the non-exam assessment in GCSE computer science provides a reliable indication of students’ programming abilities
We have already published our:
- GCSE (9 to 1) Subject Level Conditions and Requirements for Computer Science
- GCSE (9 to 1) Subject Level Guidance for Computer Science
Our new rules will require reformed GCSEs in computer science to:
- comply with the Department for Education’s subject content for GCSE computer science, and with our assessment objectives
- assess programming skills through non-exam assessment (weighted at 20% of total marks) - requiring students to complete a programming project of around 20 hours, evidenced by the completed program and a written report
Our guidance explains how awarding organisations should interpret our assessment objectives.
This consultation is about the rules and guidance we need to put in place for new GCSEs in computer science. These rules will apply to the exam boards that want to offer new computer science GCSEs from September 2016. This is part of Ofqual’s work supporting the government’s changes to GCSEs, AS and A levels.