Research evidence relating to proposals for reform of the GCSE

OUCEA has published a report entitled “Research evidence relating to proposals for reform of the GCSE”.

The Secretary of State for Education in England has launched reforms of the examination system at age 16. In the report, we have summarised research relating to aspects of the reforms:

  • How England competes in international tests
  • The claim that there has been grade inflation
  • The proposals to raise the level of challenge in examinations
  • Familiarity with examination materials
  • The desire to increase students’ motivation
  • The plan for students only to be tested at the end of the course, rather than within a modular system
  • The proposal that the use of controlled assessment should be restricted
  • The proposal that examinations should not be tiered

Assessment reform is an ongoing process in England, with many issues being revisited periodically. This report focuses on current proposed reforms, but we have framed it in a way that we hope will be useful for future reforms as well as for people in other countries. We report a great deal of relevant research that has been conducted on the reform topics, although the answers to some of our questions remain inconclusive.

You can download the report as a pdf here.

Media coverage

TES 27 April 2013

Oxford University 8 May 2013

BBC News 8 May 2013

Yorkshire Post 8 May 2013

Guardian 10 May 2013

BBC Radio 5 11 June 2013

BBC Radio Derby 11 June 2013

Please feel free to comment on the report on our discussion board on LinkedIn.