If you know of other changes, please share them in the comments!
1. A-level examination changes
A-levels in Art & Design, Business Studies, Computing, Economics, English, History, Psychology, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Sociology will become terminal qualifications with AS exams optional from this September. Ancient and Foreign Languages, Geography, Music, PE, Drama, Dance and RE will follow in 2016, while Maths and other remaining subjects will not change until 2017. Many schools are maintaining 4 AS-levels for all this year while others are asking students to choose 3 A-levels.
2. University Tariff Changes
Related to the above changes, universities are changing their entry 'Tariffs' - the points given to each grade from 2017 entry (this will not affect September's Y13 but will affect September's Y12!). A major change is that AS levels are becoming less 'valuable'. The table below lists the changes to A- and AS- levels. Changes to other qualifications can be found here.
3. GCSE changes
Following hot on the heels of A-level changes, new English and Maths GCSEs will be taught from this September to Y10s for examination in Summer 2017. These will be graded from 9 to 1. Other subjects will transition over the following two years (see the table below!).
4. Ofsted inspection changes
Ofsted is changing the way it inspects from September. Many 'good' schools will be subject to new short inspections, while some private schools will see significant changes in their inspections. The quote below from the school inspection handbook is also interesting and shows the role marketing can play in helping schools through inspection.
137. ‘In making this judgement (Effectiveness of Leadership & Management) in schools, inspectors will consider:
•the leaders’ and governors’ vision and ambition for the school and how these are communicated to staff, parents and pupils….
•how leaders ensure that the school has a motivated, respected and effective teaching staff to deliver a high quality education for all pupils ….
• how well leaders engage with parents, carers and other stakeholders and agencies to support all pupils’
(Ofsted School Inspection Handbook from September 2015)
5. League table changes
From next summer there will be an overhaul of the way schools are assessed in league tables at 16. The basis of the tables will be the 'Attainment 8' score which will look at the GCSE scores achieved in English, Maths, three other 'EBacc' subjects (from science, history, geography and languages) and three other subjects. This will then be compared to the 'expected' performance of each student to generate a 'Progress 8' score. League tables will also list the percentage of students achieving Cs in English and Maths and the percentage achieving C or greater in 5 'EBacc' subjects'. Full details can be seen here.
6. 'Coasting' schools
Under the current school assessment framework, primary schools are seen as 'coasting' if an average of 35% of pupils fail to achieve level 4 in KS2 SATS while secondary schools need 40% to achieve 5 or more A*-C grades at GCSE. From 2016 the goalposts will narrow significantly. Primary schools will need to get 85% of their pupils to level 4 and above, while secondary schools will need to get 60% of their pupils to 5 'good' GCSEs. In addition, poor results on the 'Progress 8' measure at GCSE may also mean negative consequences for schools. Read more here.