Certificate of Secondary Education
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The Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) was an academic qualification awarded in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This qualification should not be confused with the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education which is the school leaving qualification in India. Also, in some African and former British colonial countries (such as, for example, Kenya) there is to this day a qualification named Certificate of Secondary Education based on the original and former British variant. Also, the CSE should not be confused with the African qualification CSEE (Certificate of Secondary Education Examination).
It was introduced to provide a qualification available to all schoolchildren distinct from the GCE (O-Levels) that were aimed at the more able pupils, mostly those at grammar and independent school (rather than secondary modern schools) aiming for places at a university. Before the introduction of the CSE, the majority of those schoolchildren at secondary modern schools did not take O-Level examinations and so left school without any qualifications at all. However, over time and gradually, counties frequently had introduced their own examinable qualifications for the bulk of Secondary Modern School pupils who left in 'Form Four' (at 15 years of age). For example, the county of Monmouthshire in Wales awarded the Monmouthshire Certificate in Education.
There were five pass grades in its grading system ranging from grades 1 to 5, with grades 2 to 3 being recognised with equivalence to the three (later two: D and E) lowest O-Level pass grades (of which there were originally six, later five, A, B, C, D and E).
Achieving CSE grade 1 was equivalent to achieving an O level in the subject where the student may have reasonably gained an A, B or C grade had they taken an O-level course of study in the same subject. Gaining a CSE Grade 1 therefore implied that that student should have followed an O level course in that subject. This often caused frustration for such pupils wishing to progress to A-level, who (due to incompatibilities in the syllabi) would need to take a 1-year O-level conversion course in the Lower Sixth and thus waste a year gaining a qualification they theoretically already held.
|GCSE Grade||O Level Grade||CSE Grade|
|1988||1994||Pre-1975 (numeric)||Pre-1975 (alphabetic)||1975 onwards||1965 onwards|
|U (unclassified)||U (ungraded)|
- Blue background – certificate and qualification awarded.
- Red background – no certificate or qualification awarded.
However, the range of courses for CSE was wider than that for the O-level and included many vocational subjects, such as car maintenance which were not available at O-level. As the comprehensive schools gradually replaced secondary modern schools, pupils could increasingly take a mixture of CSEs and O-levels until finally the examinations were merged with the new GCSE certification courses.
|individual awards||0||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8+||1 or more||5 or more|
For subjects where an equivalent O-level paper existed approximately 36% of the pupils entered for either exam sat the O-Level, the remainder (64%) sat the CSE paper eg.
|Year||Pupils||O-Level Maths Candidates||CSE Maths Candidates||Total Candidates||% Maths Papers: O-Level||% Maths Papers: CSE||% Pupils entered for Maths|
- GCE Ordinary Level (International) (O-Level)
- General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), which replaced the O Levels and CSE
- International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), which is offered with or instead of O Levels internationally
- General Certificate of Education (GCE), which comprises O Levels and A-levels
- School certificate (SC), predecessor to the GCS O-Level and CSE qualifications
- "The story of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)". Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Archived from the original on 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- Levy, Andrew. "A* to G grades will be abolished in revamp of GCSEs: Exams will given numbers from one to nine while papers based on pupils' ability will also be axed". Mail Online. Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
- "O-LEVEL AND CSE STATISTICS 1982 AND 1983". Millbank Systems. Hansard. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "The Swann Report (1985) - Education for All". Educationengland. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- "The Cockcroft Report (1982) - Mathematics counts". Education England. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
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