GCSE: English Language

Education written question – answered on 12th September 2013.

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Photo of Annette Brooke Annette Brooke Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what consideration he has given to the effect of Ofqual's decision to remove the speaking and listening assessment from GCSE English and GCSE English Language on (a) the amount of teaching time allocated to speaking and listening skills, (b) the development of pupils' oral communication skills and (c) the accountability of teachers to teach speaking and listening skills at Key Stage 4.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The assessment of speaking and listening has not been removed from GCSE English and English Language. Students' speaking and listening skills will be reported separately on the GCSE certificate alongside the GCSE grade, giving a more detailed picture of students' achievements than under the previous arrangements.

Ofqual is the independent regulator of qualifications and it has found that current arrangements for speaking and listening do not produce fair outcomes for students.

Ofsted will continue to hold schools to account for their teaching of English, including speaking and listening. The Department for Education will consider making available the results of the separate assessment of speaking and listening through its new Data Portal.

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