Fri, 8 December 2023

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ATL calls for new GCSEs and A-levels to be approved as soon as possible

ATL | Association of Teachers and Lecturers

2 min read Partner content

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), called on the Government to get its act together and sort out the delay in accrediting the new GCSEs and A-levels which pupils will be being taught in September.

Dr Bousted said: “It’s the second week of March and teachers are still waiting to find out what they are being expected to teach children in September because half of GCSEs and two-thirds of AS and A-levels have not been approved by Ofqual.

“Labour MP for Dewsbury, Paula Sherriff, was quite right last week to call for a debate about the delays in the accreditation process for the new A-levels. Schools and colleges across the country are getting desperate to find out what they need to prepare to teach.

“How are teachers supposed to prepare for teaching these new qualifications in September when they haven’t had the opportunity to plan their curricula and develop materials based on the new specifications?

“And how will young people be able to decide which GCSEs or A-levels they want to study when they won’t know until late this academic year what the content and assessment will be for the courses starting in September? This delay is particularly worrying because none of the science GCSEs have been accredited and several of the GCSE EBacc subjects have not been accredited.

“The Government’s qualification reform programme, which is on a massive scale and being pushed through to an over-ambitious in schedule, continues to be a major cause of stress for teachers. The Government will not be able to meet its commitments to reduce teachers’ workload unless there is greater stability and reasonable lead in times for any changes that may be needed to improve qualifications.

“Ofqual should have had more sense and not have agreed to the Government’s timetable for this huge reform programme in the first place.”