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Question for Department for Education

UIN 231357, tabled on 12 March 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his department has made of the adequacy of the current regulations on IGCSEs, and if he will make a statement.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

19 March 2019

The Department has not made any recent assessment of regulatory requirements on international GCSEs, including IGCSEs. Awarding organisations are able to choose whether the qualifications they offer are submitted for regulation by Ofqual, the independent qualifications regulator. The majority of international GCSE qualifications currently offered are not regulated.

We have reformed GCSEs to equip pupils with the knowledge and skills they need to prepare for their future. Unlike most international GCSEs these new, gold standard GCSEs are regulated by Ofqual, so parents, universities and others are able to have confidence in their rigour and quality. As each new GCSE subject is introduced, only GCSEs in that subject will count in school performance tables, which apply equally to maintained and independent schools, and international GCSEs in that subject will no longer count. Most maintained schools no longer offer international GCSEs. We expect that over time, more independent schools will recognise the benefits the new GCSEs bring to pupils.

The Department recognises that there are concerns around the relative standard of international GCSEs. We are currently working with the relevant awarding organisations and Ofqual to understand those issues better and to determine what, if any, action should be taken.

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