I have just been reading the article "Student view: 'The new GCSEs put those with learning difficulties at a disadvantage'". https://www.tes.com/news/school-new...w-new-gcses-put-those-learning-difficulties-a I understand how someone with learning difficulties might be less than happy with the way the GCSE assessment system works, given their own specific difficulties, but I am left somewhat confused as to what exactly the GCSE assessment system is meant to measure. "In the new GCSEs, everything is based on exams. Coursework has been eliminated. I feel this favours more academic students and tests short-term memory, rather than effort or commitment. And it penalises pupils with conditions such as ADHD, which make it difficult for them to sit still and concentrate in exams." Is the GCSE meant to be an assessment of a student's effort and commitment, or is it simply more of a test of memory and academic ability within a controlled environment? If it is the latter, then presumably this is intended to give some sort of indication of the student's ability to apply those skills in the workplace. Without wishing to offend anyone, I would suggest that there are probably quite a few occupations which might not be considered suitable for someone suffering with ADHD, who finds it difficult to sit still and concentrate. "The new English language GCSE exam now devotes 20 per cent of the marks to “technical accuracy” (accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar), something that most people with dyslexia and dyspraxia find difficult. In addition, you are expected to remember lots of poems and quotes from texts. Anyone would find this tricky, but for someone with a learning difficulty, it is even more challenging." So if the GCSE Eng Lang is not meant to test spelling, punctuation and grammar, what exactly is it meant to test? "There have been efforts to help those with learning difficulties with the exam process. For example, some might be allowed their own room, a reader, extra time or a scribe. This shows that not everything is hopeless, but there is still a long way to go to redress the balance." Again, I am having some difficulty understanding what exactly people want here. I could be wrong, but I have never heard of a potential employer being willing to take someone on to do a job, on the basis that they will get "their own room, a reader, extra time or a scribe". "We must change this competitive society we live in, which values people for their ability to pass exams, instead of hard work, commitment and effort." A lovely sentiment, but in the real world I see little evidence that this is likely to happen in the cut-throat environment of business and commerce. So my question really is: "Is the present system of assessment in schools unfair, does it need to be changed, and if so, how should it be changed?"