Barking and Dagenham schools turn to the IGCSE

Uptake of international GCSEs has risen with seven out of 10 schools in the borough offering the alternative to traditional GCSEs.

Labour’s ban on state schools adopting IGCSEs was lifted in 2010 and since then the qualification, popular in independent schools, has been taken up by borough schools.

Eastbury School in Barking is among the schools offering the exams in some subjects.

Deane Marwa, head of English, said: “We made the transition to IGCSE as soon we were able to.

“Cambridge IGCSE is also less prescriptive and therefore gives teachers more freedom to teach.”

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Before swapping the English department had to convince the school’s leadership team that it would not adversely affect the school’s league table position, but their decision was justified by their 2012 results, 84 per cent A* to C, up from 68pc cent the year before.

The Cambridge IGCSE is seen as a tougher qualification as it is based predominantly on final exams rather than assessments throughout a two-year course.

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