GCSEs are changing, but it's not happening all at once and some of the changes will be not completed until 2020. Students sitting GCSE maths or English in schools this summer will receive a number when they collect their results on Thursday 24 August and the goalposts have been changing over the past few months so how will you know if your son or daughter has 'passed'?
The Department for Education will recognise grade 4 – broadly the equivalent of the bottom two thirds of a current grade C – as a “standard pass”. This is the minimum level that students need to reach in English and maths: otherwise they will need to continue to study these subjects as part of their post-16 education. There is no re-take requirement for other subjects.
The Department will recognise a GCSE grade 5 or above as a “strong pass”. The proportion of students achieving at least a grade 5 in English and maths will be one of the headline performance measures for schools, reflecting our ambition to raise standards in schools.
So whilst schools will be judged against the grade 5s their students achieve, your son or daughter will have 'passed' if they achieve a grade 4. Remember though that colleges and employers are free to set their own entry criteria.
The Department for Education has produced a factsheet for parents which summarises the changes; you can access it here.