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Les Bichard
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Does anybody know when GCSE grades started and O-Level grades ended?
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Andy Ball
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Hello Les,

LB> Does anybody know when GCSE grades started and O-Level
> grades ended?

My older sisters all did 'O' Levels. I think I was in the first year to take GCSE instead - in 1988.

Hope this helps,
- Andy.
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Sian Thomas
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I think that it was 1986???

"Les Bichard" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
[q1]> Does anybody know when GCSE grades started and O-Level grades ended?[/q1]
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Gary Eason
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It was 1988. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/edu...000/158008.stm

"Les Bichard" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
[q1]> Does anybody know when GCSE grades started and O-Level grades ended?[/q1]
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Carrie Carrison
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In article <[email protected] om> (20:33:59, Tue, 11 Jun
2002), Gary Eason <[email protected] > writes:

[q1]>It was 1988. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/edu...000/158008.stm[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>"Les Bichard" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...[/q1]
[q2]>> Does anybody know when GCSE grades started and O-Level grades ended?[/q2]

Yep that's right. The first GCSEs were sat in 1988. They replaced both O Levels (Ordinary Level
GCEs) and CSEs. This was a result of the Education Reform Act (1986) which also set up the national
curriculum (which must be followed in state schools but not elsewhere).

O Levels themselves were first sat in 1951. (I think in a few areas they may have been sat in 1950
but I am not sure about that). Originally they were only for the top 20% of students. They were
usually sat at 16, whereas between 1947 and 1973 the school leaving age was 15. CSEs were introduced
in 1963, so that students at secondary modern schools would be able to leave school with some kind
of qualification. At the same time, O Levels began to be graded. In 1973 the school leaving age was
raised to 16 and soon around 40% of students were sitting one or more O Levels. The term 'GCSE'
indicates the roots of the qualification in both the GCE O Level and the CSE.

Prior to O Levels there was the School Certificate (SC) and the Higher School Certificate (HSC),
both of which were awarded in grouped subjects. I think these were introduced in 1917.

The QCA has some informative material about the history of the A Level at:
<http://www.qca.org.uk/nq/framework/story_gce.asp>
--
Carrie Carrison
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