Schools warned to be braced for 'more variation than usual' in GCSE and A-level as reforms take their toll
31st May 2019
This summer is the second year that students are taking re-vamped GCSE exams in a raft of subjects. The new courses were part of a package of reforms by former Education Secretary Michael Gove, designed to toughen up syllabuses, make courses more linear, and cut down on the number of students getting A*s.
A-level courses haven also been re-designed, with coursework and modules axed in many subjects. The shake up followed concerns from universities that schools leavers were insufficiently prepared for the demands of higher education.
School leaders have previously complained that thousands of “guinea pig” students will be disappointed with their results, as teachers have struggled to accurately predict grades under the new system.
Gems Education has acquired the largest private-school operator in Saudi Arabia
Gems, one of the world’s largest private-education providers and the charitable foundation behind the $1 million Global Teacher Prize, purchased the Ma’arif Education Group jointly with a Saudi Arabian state-run pension fund. The deal is believed to be worth between $500 million and $600 million.
“The Ma’arif acquisition of 14 schools is an ideal platform from which to grow, and we are incredibly excited about further expansion in the country,” said Gems’ chief executive, Dino Varkey.
The intention is to build a portfolio of more than 50 schools, with 100,000 pupils.
Gems was founded in the United Arab Emirates in 1959, and owns and operates more than 50 schools across the Middle East and North Africa.
Its UK subsidiary, the Gems Learning Trust, runs three primary academies in the South-East of England.