GCSEs are changing – Information for employers

As you may be aware, the government has recently announced radical changes to the structure and assessment of GCSEs.

Over the next few years, GCSEs in England will move from the familiar system of A* – G grades, to a new system of grading with numbers.

These changes will start to affect employers from August 2017, as they start to see job applicants and apprentices coming through with a mix of letter and number grades.

How will GCSEs change?

From August 2017, English Literature, English Language and maths GCSEs will be graded on a scale of 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade, as follows:

In August 2018 this new system will be extended to popular subjects, including arts, humanities, languages and the sciences.

Other subjects will follow in August 2019.

The reforms will also see GCSEs become more rigorous, with exams taken after two years of study rather than in modules with exams along the way, to keep pace with employers’ and universities demands.

Why are GCSEs changing?

The new qualifications aim to:

– Provide a stronger foundation for further study and employment, keeping pace with the demands of universities and employers
– Support students in developing the knowledge, skills and values they need for life in modern Britain
– Match the standards of the best education systems in the world.

What will it mean for me, as an employer?

From August 2017 new job applicants may have achieved different standards from what you are used to, so you will need to know how these compare to the previous method of grading.
– A grade 4 will roughly be in line with a grade C
– The bottom of grade 1 will be aligned with the bottom of grade G
– Students who would have got a Grade A or better will get a grade 7 or better
– Over time, employers may notice a double award GCSE in Combined Science, which will be graded on a 17-point scale from 1-1 to 9-9. If students achieve grade 4-4 or higher, they will have achieved the equivalent of two GCSES at grades A*-C on the old scale
– Grade 9 will be more difficult to achieve than the current A*.

– Entry requirements for certain jobs may need altering to reflect the new grading system.
– Employers of apprentices will need to ensure that apprentices achieve a minimum level of Functional Skill or GCSE either before or during their Apprenticeship programme.
Please note: City of Wolverhampton College will be able to advice on the required numeracy and literacy standards for each apprenticeship framework

For more information and advice on how these changes will affect your business, ring the college’s Employer Service team on 01902 837163 or email employerenquiries@wolvcoll.ac.uk

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