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Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the effects of the introduction of more modular examinations at GCSE and A level on examination results since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (163535)

It is the responsibility of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) to regulate the public examinations system, and review standards. The QCA seeks views on the effect of modular examinations through consultations with stakeholders and by monitoring standards. However, it is difficult to disentangle the impact of modularisation from that of any other changes to GCSEs and A levels.

QCA has worked to ensure that standards are consistent and results have improved. Anecdotally, at A level the introduction of AS has helped this by engaging more candidates from the outset and, by allowing them to take a wider range of subjects, candidates concentrate on the subjects they are best at for the full A level.

QCA sought views on the effect of modular examinations as part of the consultation on GCSE criteria which was run earlier this year. The results of the consultation will be available on the QCA website,, in mid-December.