New GCSE results – A guide for employers

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

by Stuart Moore.

GCSE results are out today, but what does a score of 7 or 8 mean to those of us used to the traditional A-C grading system?

Today is the day that many thousands of school children (and their parents) have been waiting for all summer – GCSE results day. Due to the wonders of the internet, we are able to now access results online from 7am rather than have to trudge nervously back in to school to collect an envelope. So like a rather less exciting version of Christmas day, we wake up our bleary-eyed teenager to gather around the smartphone and nervously click ‘download’ to take a first look at the fruits of his past two years of study.

Results comprise of 7’s, a couple of 8’s, a couple of 6’s and a few old-school A/B grades. He seems pleased, I feel that I ‘should’ be pleased, but for some reason the new numbering system just doesn’t feel as rewarding. What do these numbers actually represent and how will they look in a few years’ time when added to a CV? Will employers understand them or will they be lost or dismissed in future decades, when the government decide to abandon them in favour of something else?

If I, as a Recruiter and father of teenage children have some difficulty with this, then I would bet that employers may also struggle to get excited or really define the achievements of our children. With this in mind, I thought that I’d write a brief guide to de-cloak the mystery and explain the new numbering system a little more.

New GCSE’s (or iGCSE’s) for the vast majority are now graded with a new numbering system between 10-1, however you cannot actually achieve a ’10’, so 9 replaces the old A*, however an 8 score is a ‘low’ A* which is why it can be a little confusing for the uninitiated.

Cambridge schools are not adopting the new system, so still grade GCSE’s on A*-G grades, which is why some of these grades are still representing on our children’s results paper. I’ve attached an image of the comparison table to help with comparing all grade levels.

I hope that this makes things a little easier for employers to decipher and I suppose we will all become accustomed to it over time. However, I just hope that if this is the system moving forward, that it will not be changed again soon, or our children’s results from this year may not seem so impressive in 5 or 10 years’ time, when they themselves are on the jobs market.

What do you think of the new system?