Revisions made to reformed GCSE, A and AS Levels following consultation

Revisions have been made to the subject content for some of the reformed GCSE, A and AS levels following a Government consultation.

The changes were revealed in the outcome of a consultation by the Department of Education into the draft content in a number of subjects ahead of their introduction in September 2016.

Revisions have been made in a number of subjects including music, modern foreign languages and maths following comments from a variety of people including teachers, parents and local authorities.

A total of 606 out of 643 people – 94 per cent – felt the content proposed for GCSE music was not appropriate while the figure was slightly higher for the A Level at 95 per cent from 641 respondents and 96 per cent (631) at AS Level.

In all three cases they were eager students were exposed to a diverse range of music and there was concern over the amount of time students would spend on performing and composing.

The Government has agreed to amend the content so it, among other things, clarifies that students will study a diverse range of music at GCSE, the date age for western classical music has been extended while the minimum lengths for performing and composing have been removed.

Following concerns in both the A and AS level content for modern foreign languages, particularly over the amount of assessment in English, the A Level Content Advisory Board (ALCAB) recommends replacing the proposed analytical essay in English with a requirement to give a critical and analytical response in the language of study to two works.

In maths, 52 per cent of respondents said the content was not appropriate and expressed concern it would lead to a reduced number of students wanting to study the subject at A Level.

ALCAB has recommended the changes to the A Level maths and further maths content is made in September 2017 to allow students to have studied the reformed GCSE.

On the other hand, the content for the reformed dance A Level received support with 68 per cent saying the content was appropriate.

There were 211 responses submitted directly from teachers out of a total of 941, the majority of which – 580 – were received as part of a campaign.

In conclusion, the DfE said: We are grateful to all those who responded to the consultation and to those individuals who have worked with awarding organisations, ALCAB and the Department to finalise subject content for these subjects.

“We believe that the changes made in response to the consultation appropriately address the issues raised and that the content we have published will provide young people with the high quality qualifications they deserve.”

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