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Views sought on proposals for setting grade standards for new GCSEs

Ofqual today launched a consultation about proposals for setting grade standards for new GCSEs.

In September 2014 we announced our decisions about the awarding of new GCSEs in English language, English literature and mathematics which will be first awarded in summer 2017.

We are now consulting on the approach to be taken in all other subjects from 2018 and on a modification to our previous decisions for English language, English literature and mathematics about how grades 8 and 9 are set.

The proposals are designed to protect students taking the new qualifications, particularly in the first year when teachers will be less familiar with the new content and how it is assessed. The aim is to minimise unexpected or unfair outcomes for students in the transition to the new GCSEs.

We propose to adopt largely the same approach to standard setting for new GCSEs in all other subjects as already announced for the first three subjects. The only difference relates to the award of grades 8 and 9, the highest grades. We are proposing to adopt a modified approach to the award of grades 8 and 9 across all subjects, including English language, English literature and mathematics. We would not normally suggest adapting a previously announced decision but we believe it is the fairest outcome for students.

The consultation runs until Friday 17 June and the full document can be read here.