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GCSEs could be marked on spelling

Proposals to mark GCSE students on their spelling and grammar and to scrap re-sits have been published by England's exams regulator.

Ofqual has launched a consultation on the plans, which are the latest step in the Government's plans for a major overhaul of GCSEs.

Under the proposals, from 2012 teenagers will have to sit all GCSE exams in the summer at the end of the two-year courses.

The move effectively scraps the current system, which splits GCSEs into "bitesize" units, with students assessed on these throughout the course.

Pupils will also no longer be able to re-sit exams in order to boost their marks. The only exception to this would be English and maths.

The consultation sets out plans to allow students who need these qualifications to take them in November, so that they do not have to wait 12 months for another opportunity.

The reforms, intended to toughen up GCSE exams, were first announced by Education Secretary Michael Gove last year and included in the Department for Education's White Paper.

Speaking in the summer, Mr Gove attacked the "culture of resits" that had resulted from allowing students to keep taking modules until they achieved the desired grade.

The reforms will also see students marked on their spelling, punctuation and grammar.

This will only apply to English literature, geography, history and religious studies to start with.

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