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Easier exams for private schools?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by monicabilongame, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter


    Are IGCSEs easier than the new GCSEs? And how much does this matter if the deciding factor for getting into university is A level results?

    "The Department for Education says that in the year in which a reformed GCSE subject is first examined, the equivalent IGCSE subject will be removed from Key Stage 4 performance tables, effectively meaning that state schools cannot use them.

    A DoE spokesperson admitted that the new exams were tougher than the ones being widely used in private schools. “International GCSEs have not been through the same regulatory approval and quality control as the new gold-standard GCSEs, which is why we no longer recognise international GCSEs in school performance tables. The new GCSE qualifications have been reformed to provide more rigorous content, so young people are taught the knowledge and skills they need for future study and employment.”
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Case of the Government saying and seeming to do one thing, but actually causing something completely different to happen.
    So people with a choice don't do the new GCSEs. says it all.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    I didn't know that Private schools took different/easier GCSEs than State schools take. Seems wrong to me. How can accurate comparisons be made between the two - unless of course that was the objective.
    Is this the same at KS2 I wonder?
    install likes this.
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Only the exam boards and the peole who collect data from them really have any idea what is going on.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Private schools used to use IGCSE because it was more rigorous than GCSE. If GCSEs have become more rigorous, then the two should be more equal in difficulty.
    Some private schools use the IB as a 'better' qualification.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    Old news - yes private schools have easier exams. Igcses were banned by Gove in the State schs because they were too easy.

    When state schs could do igcses they did rather better, much to the concern of some. Letting all schs do the same exams would be fairer -:cool:
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  7. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    This isn't right, of course. An examination is an examination and should be the same standard for everyone.
    schoolsout4summer and install like this.
  8. SomethingWicked

    SomethingWicked Occasional commenter

    It's not just whether they're easier or not, the content is different too. I was in an A-level maths class a few weeks ago and the teacher was introducing differentiation - those who did the iGCSE had already been given a very basic understanding as part of their course. Maybe I got the wrong end of the stick, but it certainly looked like those private school kids had yet another leg up on their peers.

    What's the point of a National Curriculum if everyone studies different content?
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    The 'I' = 'International'.
  10. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    There isn’t really a recognised alternative to subscribe to at KS2. But many private schools don’t do them at all - they just use their own internal assessments.

    The bigger problem in terms of social equality is that in areas with grammar schools, many private primaries openly advertise the fact that they ‘prepare’ children for the 11+, despite this practice being prohibited by LAs. This then means that wealthy families can stop paying fees once their children gets a place at the local grammar.

    I don’t really see the problem with private schools using the iGCSE - it is the responsibility of universities and employers to have an understanding of the standard of the qualifications attained by any applicant.
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    They are not easier. They are more rigorous than both old and new GCSEs. It's just the governments way of not including private schools in the league tables. Makes state schools look goodish.
  12. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    Absolutely spot on. My experience is the same igcses are more difficult and your analysis of the their effect on national figures is correct. Even the government need to be gaming to make their decisions look good.
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    They.are alot easier in my experience. I know of canny parents who.have got their state school kids to do.the igcses as private candidates. They did better.

    Gove of course encouraged state schs at first to do.igcses assuming they were more challenging. Only to find state sch results shot up and started to look better than some private schs when compared in like for like exams.

    State schs are now not allowed to do igcses but private schs can. Gove argued igcses are too easy. It seems he was right. But I do not blame private schs for playing the system or parents for paying for an education in the easier exams.

    It should all be equal though and a fairer system is needed.
    agathamorse and Dorsetdreams like this.
  14. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    They can choose to do different exams (the International GCSEs, for example), but not all do. FWIW When I taught the International GCSE for a year about a decade ago, I found it to be very similar to the GCSEs of the 1990s, and somewhat better (more interesting, more coherent, and not any easier) than the GCSEs of that period. (As I retired 6 years ago, I can't comment on how they compare to the GCSEs of 2018!)
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    Many private schs have more choice about what exams they can do - far more choice than State schs. Is that fair? Nope. In the words of the song 'Its all about the money'..
  16. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Government policy to restrict state schools' choice so the Government & OfSTED can use League Tables to beat state schools.

    Private schools also have more freedom to choose what subjects to offer, how much teaching time to allocate etc.

    Of course one could outlaw private education... But is that what you advocate? If it exists, it will offer advantages...
    agathamorse and install like this.
  17. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Established commenter

    IGCSE maths was easier before the changes and it's still easier now. No non-calc, advanced stats and probability swapped for some trivial calculus. It was bigged-up by private schools as more challenging without justification.
  18. blue451

    blue451 Occasional commenter

    In my humble experience, Independent and international schools choose the exams which they think best prepare their students for A-level or IB.
    If the new GCSE turns out to be better preparation, then no doubt we'll see them switching to it.
    agathamorse and FrankWolley like this.
  19. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Many private schools suffer far less disruption in their classrooms nd therefore have more effective time for learning.
    Is that fair? Nope. It's all about the money.

    They are also, usually freer from the stupid initiatives that sap time, energy and goodwill from staff meaing more time and energy can be dedicated to the students themselves.
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. install

    install Star commenter

    Yes agree. It seems in some cases Private sch = easier exams.

    Outlawing private schs is an option. An easier option is to ban igcses and easier exams in any education. Make them all equal, fairer and challenging.

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