Commenting on the Qualification and Curriculum Authority’s (QCA’s) plans to reduce coursework at GCSE level, the Royal Academy of Engineering promised to keep independent learning alive in after school programmes. Philip Greenish, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“At its best, coursework can give students space to study subjects in greater detail and look at issues from a wider perspective. Coursework can potentially make the study of some subjects more palatable because it gives students time to get to grips with difficult issues. Regrettably, the problem of cheating has undermined respect for coursework and potentially jeopardised the integrity of GCSEs.

“There will be no coursework in GCSE Mathematics from 2007. The Royal Academy of Engineering is working with industrial partners on new learning materials for Mathematics. These will be used after the end of the normal school day in Academy supported programmes. In this way, the application of Mathematics will not be lost with the ending of GSCE coursework.

“Coursework has a place in education, but it must be kept in its place. The Royal Academy of Engineering is ensuring that the genuine benefits of some coursework will not be lost following the QCA’s necessary reforms.”