For the sake of comparison, the state qualification is GCSE and independent is IGCSE.
Imagine my shock when I downloaded the Edexcel (Pearson) International GCSE for English Literature and English Language Grade 9-1, first sitting 2018, only to discover that their new curriculum has an option for: ‘The qualification supports seamless progression to further study, with up-to-date content reflecting the latest thinking in the subject.
It is comparable to the UK reformed GCSEs in terms of the level of demand and assessment standards.’Consequently, this leaves the English state students at an even greater disadvantage.
How can this be comparable to what the state schools have to deliver?
All they are doing is changing the letters to numbers, for grades.
We are making 9-1 versions of 13 existing syllabuses available over the next three years. This means that schools will be able to retain A*-G or move to 9-1 grading.
The syllabuses will be distinguished from each other by their syllabus codes.This is unfair because to employers and universities it WILL LOOK LIKE students have all sat the same examinations. It appears that it is their deliberate intention to make it look like the students in the independent sector are sitting equivalent examinations, and they are not!Cambridge explain that ‘Whichever grading scale schools choose to offer, universities have informed us that they are committed to maintaining consistent entry requirements and that students with A*-G graded IGCSEs will not be disadvantaged.’ I appreciate that independent schools did not want to go ahead and deliver such a narrow curriculum, and they have clearly lobbied so they are not penalised for NOT following the UK government curriculum guidelines.Cambridge outline how they have adapted the reforms to accommodate the Independent Sector.They state that with the ‘Existing syllabuses with 9-1 grading options – We will support independent schools in the UK by offering 9-1 graded IGCSEs in our most popular subjects.The GCSE English Language and English Literature examinations are now 100% examination.He also insisted that there be a single entry for all examinations in the June of Year 11.This then has to be put into a context of the rest of the curriculum for these students where the current Year 9 will have 100% examinations in almost all of their subjects.As IGCSE can no longer be included in performance tables, state schools do not allow students to take these examinations.His ideology was to create an English system for English students studying English texts.He wanted to improve standards, and believed that to do so, meant a return to the O Level style examination paper.