French and German GCSE grading to be less severe from 2020

Exam boards are to be told to adjust grading standards in French and German because the subjects are being marked too severely.

There has long been concern in schools that the severe and continuing drop in language GCSE entries is because it is harder to achieve the top grades in these subjects.

After investigating the issue, exams watchdog Ofqual this week confirmed that “that there is a sufficiently strong case to make an adjustment to grading standards in French and German, but not Spanish”.

Dr Michelle Meadows, Ofqual’s director of strategy, risk and research, said: “Building on our extensive body of work, we have looked at this issue from a wide range of different perspectives. We are satisfied that a sufficiently strong case exists for us to intervene to adjust grading standards in GCSE French and German. We are talking to exam boards about how best to implement this adjustment.”

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