Popular IGCSEs will now count in school performance measures


Exam board AQA’s IGCSEs in English and Further Maths qualification have just got the official seal of approval from the Department for Education, which means they can now be fully included in school league tables.

The qualifications, which are an alternative to traditional GCSEs, have soared in popularity over the past year, with the number of students taking AQA’s IGCSEs more than doubling between 2012 and 2013. However, until the announcement, the qualifications didn’t fully count as English and Maths in the important  5 A*-C and Ebacc performance measures.

Andrew Hall, AQA’s Chief Executive, said: “We designed our IGCSEs in response to the demand from teachers for new qualifications that were stimulating for students and more flexible to teach. The fact that teachers were choosing them even before they counted for the tables suggested we had come up with something they valued, and now of course we’re very pleased that they have been officially recognised as high quality alternatives to traditional GCSEs.” 

Although IGCSEs were originally modelled on linear O-levels and favoured by the independent sector, they have evolved in recent years.  Many IGCSEs can now be done in a modular fashion and some offer coursework. They have become increasingly popular with a wide range of schools.

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that these changes will apply to the 5 A*-C performance tables from 2014.

The qualifications that will now count are:

  • AQA Certificate English Language (8705)
  • AQA Certificate English Literature (8710)
  • AQA Certificate Further Maths (8360)

Any combination of English Language and English Literature GCSEs or iGCSEs can be taken together to count for the English measure.

Exams for these qualifications were first sat in June 2012 and since then the number of students taking them has more than doubled.

School Leadership Today