BES Successfully Lobbies OFQUAL for Change to GCSE Criteria

Ofqual, together with its regulatory partners in Wales (DCELLS) and Northern Ireland (CCEA), has published new subject criteria for GCSE science subjects: science, additional science, additional applied science, biology, chemistry and physics.

All awarding organisations wishing to offer GCSE science subject qualifications from September 2011 and thereafter will need to demonstrate to the regulators how their proposed specifications comply with these criteria.

One of the main purposes for developing new criteria at this time is to address actions from Ofqual’s report, Findings from the monitoring of the new GCSE science specifications: 2007 to 2008 published in March 2009 and based on examinations offered by AQA, Edexcel and OCR. The BES took the opportunity to promote the work undertaken by the education, careers and training committee on ecological content, and the importance of fieldwork at its May 2008 workshop to successfully lobby QCDA for changes to the criteria.

These new criteria will ensure that all students taking GCSE science from 2011 onwards gain some field experience and those students taking additional science and biology (the traditional routes to AS/A2 biology) will gain experience of fieldwork techniques with specific reference to ecological content of the criteria.

The BES is currently working with various awarding bodies to translate these criteria into the specifications teachers will use with their students.

Find out more about the BES’s Education Work.