Cambridge Assessment welcomes full consultation into IGCSEs

24 October 2006

Cambridge Assessment welcomes the Government’s decision to hold a consultation on the possibility of using the International GCSE (IGCSE) in state-maintained schools in England.

The IGCSE has a very strong pedigree and has long provided an additional secure progression route into advanced level study. It has been used by schools and Governments around the world as the basis for a high-quality educational provision for hundreds of thousands of pupils for the last 20 years, many of whom are attracted to the qualification because of the international credentials it supplies. Recent discussions regarding its use in England have been stimulated by growing interest in secondary schools in both the independent and State sectors in running the qualification. They are attracted to the qualification because of its educational strengths, particularly the provision of a secure platform for advanced study.

The consultation will offer the opportunity to examine how requirements around the National Curriculum might be managed to allow the IGCSE to be offered for the benefit of pupils in English state-maintained schools.

Tim Oates, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment, said: "Cambridge Assessment hopes that a public consultation will allow a wide range of information to be taken into account so that sound decisions can be made on the future position of these qualifications in the English system. The time is right for a fuller discussion of whether all students and schools should be able to access the benefits of these qualifications."

Cambridge Assessment believes that this consultation is essential, and should allow thorough consideration of two vital issues: the inclusion of IGCSE in performance tables; and the approval of IGCSE as a qualification for use in state maintained schools.