Consultation outcome

Reforming GCSEs, AS and A levels in biblical Hebrew

This consultation has concluded

Detail of outcome

We decided to introduce the following changes to our rules and guidance for GCSE, AS and A level ancient languages:

  1. minor amendments to our rules to allow the development of GCSEs, AS and A levels in biblical Hebrew.
  2. introducing new guidance on the length of set texts for GCSE biblical Hebrew, where we will adopt our proposed guidance unchanged. Because this sets a minimum length for the set texts, it does not prevent awarding bodies from using longer set texts.
  3. introducing new guidance on translation from English into biblical Hebrew, where we made changes to our consultation proposals in line with respondents’ comments. We, and our subject expert, agree that the alternative approach suggested by respondents provides a better way of securing comparability with Latin and classical Greek.

Next steps

We published revised versions of the following documents:

Feedback received

Analysis of responses to our consultation on reforming GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in biblical Hebrew

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Detail of feedback received

There were 5 responses to the consultation – 4 from individuals and 1 from an organisation.

Respondents commented on:

  • our proposed guidance on length of set texts at GCSE, where 1 respondent expressed concerns that our guidance would restrict or prevent the use of set texts longer than 75 verses
  • our proposed guidance on translation from English into biblical Hebrew at GCSE, where respondents commented that limiting translation to strong verbs would be unduly restrictive, and that it would be difficult to set questions with multiple verbs in a single clause. They suggested we should instead expect conjugation of a single verb - but not limit translation to weak verbs. They noted that, compared to classical Greek and Latin, the greater complexity of verb conjugation in biblical Hebrew could compensate for the simpler treatment of nouns.

Original consultation


Proposed changes to our rules and guidance to accommodate reformed GCSEs, AS and A levels in biblical Hebrew

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

We are seeking your views on both the way we are proposing to change our rules and guidance to reflect the new subject content for biblical Hebrew, and on the detailed drafting of those changes.

We would also welcome your views on our assessment of the likely impact of our proposals – including whether there are any additional impacts we have overlooked, and any steps we could take to mitigate such impacts.


Published 3 March 2017
Last updated 30 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Published consultation feedback and decisions

  2. First published.