Why is the government changing the system of grading GCSE students? Across the whole world we know that an A is good and an F is bad, employers and apprentice providers in this country look for A grades to weed out potentially good students. What earthly reason can there be for changing from a system which is universally easy to understand to one which is baffling (the exam board guidance is abysmal) and incredibly confusing for both staff, parents and in particular for pupils.

Our Year 10s have just left Key Stage Three where they have spent the last few years of their education being ‘levelled’ numerically; they have now begun their GCSE course and are being told that at the end of the two years they will sit an exam and be given a numerical grade which will determine how well they have done in their GCSEs. But this isn’t the same numerical grade as the one they have just achieved six weeks earlier at the end of Key Stage Three…

Our classrooms have resounded with the clamour of confused children:

“So what’s a pass, Miss?

“So what number will you need to get to do A levels, Sir?”

And most confusingly of all for them of course,

“Miss, I’m already a level six”

And we have to respond with the ridiculous,

It’s not the same level six, I’m afraid”

“What do you mean Miss?”

Good question, out of the mouths of babes…what do I mean?

How on earth can we expect children to understand what is happening when the guidance and advice we have been given by the exam boards is so varied. We’ve had everything from being told that a Level Four is equivalent to a C, to a Level Six being equivalent to a C. And if it is equivalent, why not just stick with the old system?

The old cynic in me thinks that under our new Capitalism At All Costs education system some education book providers, exam boards and training companies are going to make a lot of money out of these wholesale changes and as usual it’s the poor old teachers at the chalk-face who will be expected to make the whole thing work.

Government Grade – F (or whatever the numerical equivalent)!

Teacher X



Please stay connected with us by Subscribing to the Finsbury Education Blog, and following us on LinkedinTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

UK based recruitment agency, Finsbury Education, igniting the careers of teachers, lecturers, leaders and education support staff. If you are looking for your next career move, contact us to find out how we can help.