State schools get green signal to teach new style O levels

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Soon the State schools will be allowed to teach 16 qualifications based on O-levels as part of a new emphasis on traditional academic subjects. September onwards, secondary schools may introduce the International GCSEs in core subjects including English literature, maths and the three sciences.

The effort is being taken to improve upon the secondary and primary curricula designed to inject rigour into lessons. It will also scrap the last government's planned 'academic diplomas' amid fears they would water down standards. IGCSEs are increasingly favoured by feepaying schools, which claim they cover harder material and are better preparation for later study. They are likened to O-levels as they are assessed entirely on final exams. Labour last year blocked their use in state schools for compulsory subjects.

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