As we all know, Nanny is very keen to "improve" educational standards and exam results.
To this end she has "rigorously" measured exams results each year, in the expectation that they show an improvement. There are two ways to improve exam results:
1 Improve the quality of education, and ensure that the pupils sitting the exams are trained to give of their best.
2 Reduce the standards of the exams, and make them easier to pass.
Needless to say Nanny has opted for option 2!
Nanny's new exam in mathematics will allow pupils to achieve an A grade without answering any of the most difficult questions.
Teenagers will also be able to gain a grade C, which is vital to their schools' ranking in Nanny's league tables of examination results, by answering questions intended for students with much lower abilities.
Nanny's exam watchdog, The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), has written to schools saying that the new GCSE course will be introduced in September.
The first pupils will sit the exam in 2008.
The current GCSE, which is set at three tiers of difficulty, will be replaced by Nanny's new "improved" version which has two levels.
Pupils who currently take the lowest tier in the present system can get only a grade D at best, which according to Nanny's chums in the teaching profession is "demotivating".
Unfortunately Nanny still can't get it through her head that some people are brighter than others; there are people who, no matter what you try to teach them, are as thick as a plank.
The new structure will make it possible for every student to achieve a grade C, in theory.
Tony Gardiner, a past president of the Mathematical Association, said the new structure was intended to "turn more Ds into Cs" in order to help Nanny reach her targets.
"The effect will be that there will be fewer hard questions.
People entered for the higher tier will see that there are only a few hard questions,
so they can ignore those and concentrate on the others".
Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, put the boot in further and said:
"Exams are meant to provide information to employers, sixth forms and universities of a student's capabilities.
It doesn't do them or the student a favour to provide a false picture."
An independent review of the new GCSE, by academics at London University's Institute of Education, found that all but the most able pupils were likely to gain higher grades than they would under the present system.
In a mock paper of the "higher" tier of the new syllabus, 80% of questions were set at a difficulty of grade B or lower. Pupils needed only 67% to gain an A grade and 81% for an A*.
The report stated:
"All the examiners at the awarding meeting were exercised by the relative lack of questions at grades A and A* levels of demand."
The review went on to say that 55% of questions were set at the D and C grade levels, but students could obtain a B with 49%.
Nanny is doing no one any favours here, except of course herself, those pupils who "succeed" in passing will be fooled into believing that they have some academic ability; employers and universities will simply find other ways of streaming the wheat from the chaff.