We’re pleased to confirm that we’ve now submitted our proposal for a new GCSE in Natural History to the Department for Education (DfE). Our proposal to the DfE is based on a summary of our findings from a six week consultation we ran over the summer looking at the purpose and content of a potential new qualification in Natural History.
We’re very grateful to everyone for taking part in the recent consultation and sharing their expertise and enthusiasm which helped to inform our thinking and our proposal. The DfE decides on the development of any new GCSE and the next step will be for them to consider whether to launch their own consultation. Here’s a timeline of the process.
We launched a consultation on 4 June 2020 with the support of broadcaster and nature writer Mary Colwell, Eden Project founder Tim Smit, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and representatives from organisations such as the Natural History Museum and The Wildlife Trusts. We were very pleased to include student enthusiasts such as Kabir Kaul and representatives from Teach the Future.
The campaign for a new GCSE in Natural History started much earlier however. About ten years ago, Mary Colwell began her campaign for a new GCSE. Over the years, she gathered the support of many like-minded people. In 2019, she shared her vision with Tim Oates, Cambridge Assessment’s Director of Assessment Research and Development, who helped to explore making that vision a reality. As the momentum has grown during 2020, a committed team at OCR has worked with our Cambridge Assessment colleagues to roll out a consultation and capture the findings that form the basis for the proposal. This has only been possible with the ever-growing support of enthusiastic organisations and individuals.
We look forward to providing updates on the next steps.