Isle of Man News - POSTED Wed 02-04-2014

Have your say on exam reform

by Joanne Clague

Have your say on exam reform - picture

Education Minister Tim Crookall used an employability conference today to urge people to join in the consultation on exam reform.

A decision on the route the Isle of Man will take will be made before the end of this school year.

Mr Crookall told the audience today: 'I suspect that everyone in this room is already aware that GCSEs, in the form we have known them, are coming to an end. When GCSEs were launched in 1988 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, they were widely welcomed. They brought together O levels and CSEs into one qualification and set out to broaden the basis of assessment.

'Over the last 26 years, if I were to say that GCSEs had “evolved” that might imply that there had been sustained progression towards some agreed goal. Sadly, the reality has not been so coherent. For example, in 2009, under a Labour government GCSEs became modular. In 2013, under the Coalition government, they returned to a linear format. Schools had to jump through the hoop one way and then jump back again a few years later.'

He said the Isle of Man had a choice of three possible ways forward, adding: 'I want to encourage all people who see themselves as stakeholders in our education system to complete the consultation questionnaire. This can be done online or on paper. The questionnaire will ask respondents to identify whether they are a teacher, a parent, a pupil, an employer etc so we can understand how the various groups feel. The education of our young people is one of the most important things that we undertake as a community and we are keen to hear the views of community so that we can make the right decision for all of our young people.'

The deadline for responses is May 16.

Watch our extended interview on exam reform at

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