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Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the basis for the Government's policy on the importance of the GCSE as a certificate for all 16-year-olds. [114418]

GCSE serves several important functions, it provides:

a clear and worthwhile goal for students at the end of Key Stage 4;
a progress check in subjects and helps young people choose what they want to study after 16;
a record of what has been achieved in subjects that will not be pursued after 16;
an important accountability measure for outcomes of 11–16 schools.
The Tomlinson 14–19 Working Group is examining how the nature and amount of assessment for 14–19 should develop.