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Plans set out for re-sit opportunities

Ofqual is today (15 December) launching a consultation on policy relating to re-sit arrangements for legacy GCSEs, AS and A levels.

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The first reformed GCSEs, AS and A levels were introduced in England in September this year. Students will start being awarded new AS qualifications in summer 2016, and new GCSEs and A levels in summer 2017. Current rules mean that Exam Boards will no longer be able to award the unreformed or ‘legacy’ qualifications in the subjects where a reformed version of the qualification has been introduced beyond August 2016.

To make sure that students are not disadvantaged because of these changes, we are proposing that students taking legacy AS and A levels should have the opportunity to re-sit the qualifications, regardless of the subject and exam board, in summer 2017.

Students taking GCSEs in English, English language and mathematics (including linked pair maths GCSEs – ‘applications of mathematics’ and ‘methods in mathematics’) in summer 2016 will have a re-sit opportunity in November 2016. We are seeking views on whether these students should also have a further re-sit opportunity in May/June 2017.

In the consultation published today, we propose that:

  1. Re-sit opportunities in AS and A level subjects in which the new qualifications have been taught from September 2015, will be available in the legacy qualifications in May/June 2017. All AS and A2 level units for these qualifications will be available to all students in the normal way in the summer of 2016.

  2. Students will be able to re-sit any AS or A2 level unit (including controlled assessment units) in the summer 2017 re-sit opportunity.

  3. The same approach should be adopted in relation to legacy AS and A level qualifications in future tranches of reform.

  4. A re-sit opportunity will be made available for GCSEs in English, English language and mathematics (including linked pair maths GCSEs – ‘applications of mathematics’ and ‘methods in mathematics’) in November 2016. We are also seeking views on whether a further re-sit opportunity should be made available in May/June 2017

  5. Students will be able to carry forward the results of the speaking and listening controlled assessment in GCSE English and GCSE English language (including between the two subjects when re-sitting with the same exam board).

  6. There will be no re-sit opportunities in other legacy GCSE subjects, although we are seeking views on whether a further re-sit opportunity should be made available for GCSEs in science subjects.

  7. Our current proposals for GCSEs would mean that:

  • for GCSE English literature the last exams in the legacy qualifications will be in summer 2016
  • for GCSE subjects that are to be first taught from September 2016 the final exams will be in summer 2017
  • for all remaining legacy GCSEs and AS and A levels the final exams will be in summer 2018

The consultation will be open until 2 February 2016.

Published 15 December 2015