Maths GCSE standards row prompts call to postpone new exam

Maths teachers are calling for the introduction of a tough new GCSE to be delayed for a year, so they can properly prepare their pupils.

The reformed maths exam – dubbed the “big fat GCSE” because of its extra content – is supposed to be taught from September. But schools have not been given the sample material they need because exam boards have been told not to release any more until a row over standards has been resolved by Ofqual.

A decision by the regulator is not expected until the end of April at the earliest, prompting teachers to demand that the new GCSE be put back to give their students a fair chance.

TES has seen a letter from the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM) suggesting it would be “prudent to delay the introduction of the new GCSEs by a year”.

In a letter to Ofqual’s chief regulator, Glenys Stacey, the ATM’s Sue Pope says the maths GCSE controversy has “seriously damaged” confidence in the watchdog.

But Ian Stockford, Ofqual’s associate director of research and analysis, said there was “no reason” why the introduction of the new qualification should be delayed.

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