The Computer Science GCSE - what a mess

Monday, September 17, 2018

After the failure of Computer Science GCSE to recruit at acceptable levels, especially for girls, the subject has taken yet another knock.  

'Earlier this year we announced changes to the assessment arrangements for the new GCSE in computer science. We found that the confidentiality of some of the assessment tasks had been compromised, and some students would have had an unfair advantage over others. We reluctantly decided to change the arrangements, such that students’ grades this summer and in 2019 would be based only on their exam performance. We have recently announced that these arrangements will also apply to the 2020 exams, and that we are considering the longer-term solution.'

Ofqual, 27 April 2018

The change of arrangement is that students' non-exam assessment task will not count towards their grade.  So in 2018, 2019 and 2020, after the removal of the non-exam assessment task, students can get the highest grade in this subject without ever having to produce a robust, checked, code based solution to a problem.  This is a nonsense on a par with getting a science GCSE without having done an experiment.  It is the students who suffer - their qualification is significantly devalued per se, and its value as a preparation for further study seriously undermined. 

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