New GCSE ‘pass’ lowered from grade 5 to 4 in DfE U-turn

Justine Greening aims to provide 'certainty' by replacing a 'good pass' with both a 'standard pass' (grade 4) and a 'strong pass' (grade 5).


The benchmark "pass" grade for tougher new reformed GCSEs is being lowered from a grade 5 to 4, the Department for Education announced today.


Numerical GCSE grades from 9 (the top) to 1, rather than A* to G, are being phased in, beginning with maths, English literature and English language this summer.


Originally the DfE said a grade 5 – the equivalent of a high C or low B in current GCSEs – would be seen as a “good pass”, in the line with the aim of the new qualifications representing more of a challenge.


But the picture was muddied with the news that a grade 4 – roughly equivalent to the existing grade C – would be sufficient for pupils to avoid mandatory post-16 resits for GCSEs in English and maths until at least 2019.‚Äč


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