Cambridge responds to DfE decision on Cambridge IGCSE recognition in performance tables

24 July 2014

The Department for Education (DfE) has today announced transitional arrangements setting out how qualifications for students aged 16 will be counted in 2017 school performance tables.

Cambridge is pleased to note the DfE’s commitment to retaining choice in qualifications at this level. We are proceeding with the development of modified Cambridge IGCSEs in English, English Literature and Maths, which will be available for first teaching in 2015 and will be graded on the same 1 to 9 scale as modified GCSEs.

In the meantime our clear understanding is that Cambridge IGCSEs continue to be regulated and funded qualifications and therefore available for use in state schools in England.

The temporary omission of English, English Literature and Maths IGCSEs from school performance tables in 2017, which we have argued against, clearly creates some challenges for schools as they select qualifications during a period of transition. We will engage closely with the DfE and Ofqual to ensure that the post-2017 arrangements are clear and helpful to schools which have chosen Cambridge IGCSEs or are considering doing so.

Cambridge IGCSEs were recognised by government for teaching in the UK state sector from 2010 and since then have grown significantly in popularity. Over 2500 UK schools now teach Cambridge IGCSE compared with 1300 schools at the same time last year. Many of the features of the new reformed GCSEs in England, which will be examined for the first time in 2017, are modelled on features of Cambridge IGCSEs, used by over 5000 schools in over 140 countries.

Our revised Cambridge IGCSEs in English, English Literature and Maths will be submitted for inclusion in performance tables from 2018. We will also continue to offer our existing versions of Cambridge IGCSE English First Language, English Literature and Mathematics to schools worldwide, including those schools in England that prefer to use them.

Cambridge International Examinations
24 July 2014