ASCL comment on additional GCSE support materials

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the consultation on additional support materials for GCSE exams in 2024.
We wholeheartedly agree with extending formulae and equation sheets for GCSE exams in 2024, and have repeatedly argued for this as a way of keeping in place some measures to mitigate for the impact of the pandemic. 

“However, we disagree with returning to ‘normal exam arrangements’ in 2025 and believe students should be provided with these materials in exams on a permanent basis. 

“This reflects our view that exams should not be memory tests but a way of seeing how well students apply their knowledge. 

“This would reduce some of the stress of exam preparation and ensure students can focus on core knowledge and skills like problem solving and critical thinking which employers say they most value.”