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Is ABC easier than 123?

Teenagers in England will be receiving new 9-1 grades in many of their GCSE subjects this year, following major exam reforms.

GCSEs in England have undergone sweeping changes as part of education reforms that began under the coalition government.

These changes are now being felt in schools and colleges across the country, with one of the biggest being a new grading system.

So, what is the new grading system?

– Traditional A* to G grades have been replaced with a 9 to 1 system, with 9 the highest mark.

– English and maths GCSEs – core subjects taken by all teenagers – were the first to move to the new system, with numerical grades awarded for these courses for the first time last summer.

Why was the grading system changed?

– The move is part of a wider reform of exams which has seen a complete overhaul of the content and structure of GCSEs.

– Schools and colleges have been teaching these new GCSEs for the last two to three years, and it is only now that grades are starting to be awarded.

– The new courses feature much less coursework than the old GCSE qualifications, and modular courses, which saw pupils sit papers throughout their studies, have been scrapped in favour of “linear” GCSEs in which pupils take all of their exams at the end of the two-year course.

– The new grading system is meant to clearly distinguish new courses from the old qualifications.

There have been concerns raised that the system may be confusing, for example to parents, or businesses presented with potential job candidates with different types of grades.

What are your views? Do you think the ABC grading system is more understandable or can you get your head around the new numbers?

Is the ABC grading easier to comprehend than 9-1?

126 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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viking
17th Sep 2018
0
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The answer lies in the final paragraph.........confusion.
This is part of the politicians armory, just keep the electorate at bay by making as much confusion over an easy subject, that then makes their political career safe !!
Lorraine
14th Sep 2018
0
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When I sat my exams GCE papers were used and everyone was comfortable with the grading system. No need to ever have changed from that. Change for the sake of change is never a good thing
Irene88
1st Sep 2018
0
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I understand both systems but feel standards went downhill a long time ago when they got rid of GCE's
ecarg
26th Aug 2018
1
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Governments will continue to change the exam systems to try to prove the education system is producing good results.
Regardless of the extra stress it causes for staff and pupils and confussion for employers.
Yes exam results are important but so are very many other qualities that people bring to the work place but people with practical skills who do not have qualifications often do not get invited to interview
Alicia
25th Aug 2018
2
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I understand they have lowered the pass mark in exams so much of the passes are worthless. It was a lot tougher in my day but we all passed exams !
Wilf
23rd Aug 2018
6
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What idiot in the government thought this one up??? How on earth can 9 be the highest grade and 1 the lowest? Whoever thought of this should take their o levels again. And WE elect these people? In life 1 is always the best...First...the top...how can 9 be. I do give up sometimes!
Lionel
23rd Aug 2018
2
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Wilf, I heard earlier on the local news teacher, employers, parents and the press have no idea what value to place on this numerical scale so next year its back to ABC.

All Change!
Wilf
23rd Aug 2018
1
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Lionel-This is total madness! I heard it was Michael Goves idea when he was at education. He needs to go back to nursery school and learn basic maths!
Lionel
23rd Aug 2018
1
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I can't disagree Wilf but why don't we return to Butler's 1944 Education Act and drop out matriculation. After all, we of a certain age were educated under Butler and we've done fairly well.

Ah, but I neglected to say parts marks would need to be very substantially raised and would suit our educators.
Wilf
23rd Aug 2018
2
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Yes but I think the world moves on Lionel...we dont want to go back to 1944 we need to move to 2044 in education and rapidly. One of my daughters is a teacher-she showed me an incredible video on You Tube about teaching. Basically we are all different but we all get taught exactly the same subjects up to 16 at the same ages at the same time. How can that make sense? It doesnt we ened to start thinking out of the box on education.
Lionel
23rd Aug 2018
1
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Exactly, Wilf, I couldn't agree more.

My mention of the 1944 Butler Act provides for youngsters of differing abilities or capacities to be educated in an appropriate State school, not lumped together and taught the same subjects at the slowest or least able's speed or capacity.

Perhaps, instead if both political parties ceased knocking English Public Schools - often citing that spurious term upward mobility - and raised both educational standards and the provision for differing abilities we would have a much better system. It would at least give State schools something to aim at rather than juvenile targets we have now.

As you know I was in the Public School system, though not by choice, and now I can highly recommend it.
Wilf
23rd Aug 2018
0
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Apologies Lionel. I was being thick. I did not realise this is what the Butler Act was trying to provide for. Exactly what I mentioned with that You Tube video then. I did not realise you went to a Public School. I went to comprehensives which were terrible as they seemed to cater for the lowest not highest common denominator. I then got enough O levels to go 2 years to a grammar school. Totally different world. Discipline-great teaching and most boys went to university. However...the vast majority of chaps apart from me and my mate were from well off families. I do think comprehensives have got much better. My kids went to the local one and have all had a fantastic education.
Billythequiche
23rd Aug 2018
2
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I don't get it , is it a return to the original ''O'' and ''A'' levels?.
Lance makes a very cogent point. The construction of sentences, basic spelling, punctuation, letter writing and other forms of communication seems to be sadly lacking. The last time anyone noticed that an infinitive had been split was when Captain Kirk decided to ''boldly go''. It equally applies to basic arithmetic and number manipulation. Ask most youth to work out VAT on a product without a calculator or make change without the till working it out.
Lionel
23rd Aug 2018
2
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Billy, I would heartily agree with reverting back to the 'O' and 'A' level system. Currently, it seems to me as a step grand parent, our education system is an abysmal mess. And pro rata it costs so much more than under the Butler Education Act of 1944 yet achievements in literacy and numeracy are extremely poor.

Surely Education must shove out of the back door youngsters who are educated in subjects, and to standards, employers need. Not tell employers what they may have as this is the best that can be done by the system

Also, we must cease lying to these youngsters about job prospect if they work hard. Another year of youngster has left school to find jobs/apprenticeships are in very short supply.
Billythequiche
24th Aug 2018
1
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I was a product of the wrongly criticised Grammar school system. There was ''streaming'', I know that is now a dirty word. The more academically inclined did more ''classics'' subjects such as Latin, others did metal work, wood work etc. All did maths, English, physics and history. There was always traffic between the streams, usually yearly depending on accomplishments and application. The discipline was rigid and sometimes physical but equal, the only prejudice for having humble lifestyles came from a minority of pupils, not the school or the teachers.
More than the qualifications I gained, the school taught me respect and self respect which seems amusing to some.
The only thing that makes me cringe, in hindsight, was the religious attitude, even Catholics had to stand outside morning assembly. This, alas, was a sign of the times. At the previous school, attached to a church, I was refused membership of the choir as I had been baptised (dedicated) by The Salvation Army during a small pox epidemic in Scotland and the C o E didn't recognise it. I was quite the religious mongrel, dad's family were Orange Lodge and mum's were Salvation Army, she served in Red Shield canteens during the war. The local canon was shocked when I challenged him from both points of view. Sadly, as it was a church school, I was caned then when I refused to apologise in church, I was caned again.
Lionel
24th Aug 2018
3
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Blimey, Billy, you're more of a Heinz 57 than I am! A Jewish boy born and raised in a West Norfolk village. A closet Jewish family - there were several in the village at the time. Moved to London and my father sent me to sing in a High Church choir, then to an Anglican Public School.

That was so similar to your account of school. Rigidly disciplined, High Anglican focussed and the curricula centred around entry to the Church, Civil Service or the Officer Corps. Some veered off course and became accountants - one spent years as Chief Finance officer for British Columbia - others went into medicine or finance. One even became a champagne socialist. I don't mourn his lack of success. The Establishment was everything, in spite of the fact the Empire had largely disappeared.

Me? I became a farm worker after an illustrious 5 year career in the London Wine Trade. Never was more content than after I made that move. The Yorkshire Dales, Vale of York and the moors were my work place. Happy days!
Dek
23rd Aug 2018
1
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Why ? ......Probably a "New boy on the block" wanting to make his mark. ? 🙂
LanceFogg
23rd Aug 2018
4
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Here we round and round!! In a few more years some interfering so-called educationalist will start calling 15+ exams Ordinary level and those 2 years later as Advanced level. WOW!!

Why can't they stop fiddling with exams? Every few years there seems to be a "re-think" based on the "latest trends" in education. There's very little difficulty associated with teaching maths, English, etc.

The subjects don't change that much except they seem to get less detailed.
Ask any school pupil to construct an English sentence and they haven't got a clue what you're talking about

Does it really matter whether it's 1,2,3,...... or A,B,C.....? Let's get the subject matter taught properly in the first place.
arnoldbradford
23rd Aug 2018
2
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I totally agree with you lance why is it necessary to keep changing things that are working with no problems as they are.
Lionel
23rd Aug 2018
2
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I couldn't agree more, Lance. I have 'O' and 'A' levels. The principles taught me over half a century ago have served me well in study and interpretation of material. However, I don't see either facility developed to any reasonable degree in my step grand children.

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