World Class Teachers

A Guide to Understanding the New GCSE Scoring System and How it Affects Teachers

With GCSE results being released you may be concerned about how the new GCSE scoring system will affect teachers. Teachers and supply teachers in London will have to adapt their teaching approach to match the new curriculum, and marking systems will be set to change; meaning marking criteria’s will also receive a new makeover. This may be a hard transition for both students and teachers and we are already starting to see some negative side effects (such as effects on mental health), but hopefully – with time – we will see the benefits of this new scoring system.

Why this change?

30 years on from the GCSE system we’ve all grown to… understand, and now there’s quite a dramatic change – the main one being from alphabetic grading A*-G to numerical grading 9-1. What teachers in London really want to know is why.

In short, the idea behind this change in marking is to provide differentiation across students’ results – namely the top scoring students. The prediction is that fewer students will achieve grade 9 than current A* levels, with the statistics suggesting that 20% of students that gained an A-A* grade would now hold the equivalent grade 9.

How it affects teaching jobs

This will be a huge adjustment for any tutor, teacher or supply teacher and with the first results of this new system coming to fruition we can start to see the effects that it will have on classroom teaching. Some of the effects new GCSE scoring will have on teachers include:

  • Curriculum changes –

With the GCSE changes come more focus on exams and less on coursework. This obviously puts demand on both teacher and student to perform for one final exam; this could prove hard when teaching students with mixed abilities.

  • Exam factories –

This is a growing criticism amongst teachers and implies that the new system is ‘teaching to test’ by removing joy or any real wholesomeness gained from learning for its own sake.

  • Struggling students –

Morale could be low across students as it is now considerably harder to achieve the highest grades. This may mean it will become harder to motive the classroom, especially with top grades falling to its lowest since 2007.

  • New marking criteria –

Teachers will have to adjust their marking strategy to reflect the new grading system, with more focus on written communication. However, the curriculum has been said to push more creative application in the sense of thinking around the subject.

  • Differing grading systems –

Teaching in the middle of this transition means that teachers have to adapt to both the new system and the old, two different grading systems across year groups can obviously cause confusion.

  • Decline in creative subjects –

Design and Technology entries declined by 32% while media, film and TV studies dropped by 26%. This is been argued by teachers to be the result of the focus on core subjects from the new GCSE system; prioritising academic subjects leads to a decline in teaching creative subjects.

  • Confusion –

Overall, confusion from both teachers and students will be the main effect on teaching in the next few years. Without knowledge on how the system actually works teachers will find it hard to determine what will be successful, especially with no revision materials and inadequate resources; the next few years will be a process but if trust is put into this new system from tutors teachers and supply teachers, hopefully, we will start to see its benefits.

Effects on students

How the new system affects students is a different story.  Issues of mental health have come to light recently, with complaints about exam stress rising teachers have criticised the effects of such a large change in the curriculum. The new GCSEs are said to be purposefully more challenging with more content to be learned, from reports of high anxiety to panic attacks, pressure in the classroom has been amplified past usual exam stress.

Supply teaching in London

If you’re thinking of becoming a supply teacher in London and find it daunting searching for teaching jobs in London, especially considering the new GCSE syllabus, then you could benefit from the support of World Class Teachers. Our service makes finding teaching jobs in London easy, with various events and outlets to connect with other supply teachers in London you can discuss with others ways to handle the new GCSE systems.

Register and submit your CV online today to start your search. If you need any more information about our supply teaching jobs in London then please don’t hesitate to call us on 0208 579 4501. Alternatively, you can contact us online, request a call back, or email us at for advice on any teaching jobs in London.