My Lords, the results of International General Certificate of Secondary Education examinations sat in the United Kingdom will not be included in this year’s key stage 4 performance tables, as those qualifications are not accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority for use in maintained schools. It is, however, open to the two awarding bodies of the IGCSE to seek such accreditation, and proper consideration will be given if they do so.
My Lords, I thank the Minister for that, but was it not a daft Answer? We now have the prospect of performance tables that will show some of the best schools in England failing to give their children an adequate education merely because of the amour propre of the QCA in not admitting a particular qualification to the league tables. We may not wish to offer that qualification in state schools, but surely, to provide proper information to parents about how schools are doing, we should reflect the examinations that those schools take and not some quasi-religious decision taken by a government agency.
My Lords, this has nothing whatever to do with the amour propre of the QCA. It is open to the two awarding bodies that offer the IGCSE to submit that qualification to the QCA for accreditation in the manner required of all other qualifications. If they do so, the QCA will consider the request.
My Lords, does the Minister accept that many schools are attracted to the IGCSE because they are not convinced that GCSEs stretch and challenge the full range of students? When that happened with A-levels, the Government agreed that extra sections and harder questions should be put into them. Will he consider doing the same thing with GCSEs? While he is about it, will he just scrap the discredited league tables?