It seems that more changes are in store for the British Exam System. I’m guessing that most parents won’t be aware of what’s to come and most pupils will have no concept of why it matters. But from 2017, there will be a gradual shift in the way that GCSE exams are graded, from a letter based system (A*, A, B and so one) to a numerical system (1-9). Their are arguments both for and against this move, as there always is in education, but one of the most important aspects of the change seems to be attracting very little debate or attention. Once the changes have begun, it will be relatively difficult to compare the results of candidates under the two different systems. This is entirely deliberate.
Given the impact of changes to our education system in general and exams in particular (time to pay attention employers, parents and anyone who hasn’t woken up to the changes), I would have thought that it made sense to have a broader discussion before changes were put in place. It seems to almost guarantee anger and consternation in the wider community to simply sneak them in. It also smacks of a wider problem: the lack of discourse on one of the most important issues in our economy and our society: what does a fit for purpose education system look like as the world of work changes to accommodate increasing inequality and a step change in technology – forget Facebook … virtual reality and robots anyone?