Changes to GCSEs and Functional Skills
GCSEs in England are changing. The main difference is a move to a new grading system. From this summer, grade 9 will be awarded to the very highest achievers and 1 to the lowest. The four current highest grades of A*, A, B and C are being replaced by six numerical grades from 9 to 4. Grades 4 and 5 are the equivalent of a C or a low B.
The new grades signal a change to GCSEs, with more grades at the top end to help to better differentiate between higher ability students. Some post-16 students will have taken re-sits of the GCSEs graded A* to G this summer. This is the final year these qualifications will be awarded.
For those recruiting 2017 school leavers, you will soon be receiving applicants with the new grades so it’s important to understand how these correspond to the old system. For Level 2 apprentices, GCSE grade 2 to 9 (old Grade E) is a functional skills exemption and for Advanced Apprentices, Grade 4 to 9 (old Grade C) is a functional skills exception.