The new Minister for Education in Northern Ireland, Peter Weir, announced today (28/06/16) that reformed GCSEs which are graded 9 to 1 can be used in the post primary school sector in Northern Ireland from September 2016. This reverses a decision, made in November 2015, to only allow the teaching of unreformed GCSEs which are graded A* to G.
Alongside new 9 to 1 English and Maths GCSEs that OCR developed in September 2015, OCR is launching further 9 to 1 GCSEs for teaching from September 2016 in a wide range of subjects, including History, Computer Science and Religious Studies.
OCR's National Manager in Northern Ireland, Paul McGlade, said: "We welcome the news that the path is now clear to offer OCR’s new 9 to 1 GCSEs in Northern Ireland. We look forward to working with the Department of Education in Northern Ireland to sort out the details as quickly as possible for teachers and students."
A number of schools in Northern Ireland had already started to use OCR's new English Literature and Maths 9 to 1 GCSEs in September 2015 before they were excluded for use. OCR had committed to providing exams for those schools in summer 2017 and for resits in November 2017. Paul McGlade continued: "We are delighted that our new GCSEs in English Literature and Maths will now be available to all those commencing their studies in September 2016 as well."
Policy for AS/A Levels in Northern Ireland, which already allowed schools and colleges to teach OCR's new AS/A Levels developed for England, remains unchanged.
We will be sending a full update on changes to GCSE, AS and A Level, including the support available, to all schools and colleges in Northern Ireland this week.
Exceptions to use of new 9 to 1 GCSEs:
For more information, contact OCR National Manager Paul McGlade, on firstname.lastname@example.org, or OCR’s Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998 or email@example.com.