International GCSEs and the DfE ban – was there a better path?

Dominic Cummings's Blog

It is reported that the DfE has decided not to allow international GCSEs to be allowed to be used in league tables.

This is not a surprise though I think it is bad policy. I will explain some background, my involvement in discussions about this before I left in January 2014, and why I think it is a mistake.

None of the boards’ iGCSEs counted in league tables pre-2010. We thought this was a mistake. Some of the best private schools used the Cambridge International iGCSE. Some great state schools told us in Opposition that they wanted to do the same. It seemed reasonable to have more diversity in the system and let state schools do what private schools were doing particularly given the huge problems with standard GCSEs and the difficulty with reforming them.

During 2013, as standard GCSEs were being reformed, the issue arose of what to do about…

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