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The following notice was originally published on 22 April and was updated on 18 May 2016 to highlight the extended provision of GCSE and A Level Persian.
Following a review of ‘less taught’ languages as part of the ongoing reform of GCSEs, AS and A Levels, OCR has made the difficult decision not to redevelop GCSEs, AS and A Levels in Biblical Hebrew, Dutch, Gujarati, Persian, Portuguese and Turkish.
However, we have been working in close collaboration with the DfE and other awarding bodies for some time to secure the future of ‘less taught’ languages. We are delighted that Pearson and AQA have agreed in principle to offer the majority of these qualifications in the future. The Department for Education has gained agreements in principle from Pearson to provide Gujarati, Persian, Portuguese and Turkish GCSEs and A Levels as well as Biblical Hebrew GCSE and from AQA to provide Biblical Hebrew A Level, subject to the outcome of discussions on subject content. This will secure the continued availability of GCSEs and A Level qualifications in Persian, Turkish, Gujarati, Portuguese, and Biblical Hebrew. Unfortunately, we have not been able to secure arrangements to safeguard the future of GCSEs and A Levels in Dutch – qualifications which have a long history of extremely low uptake.
We will be working closely with Pearson and AQA to secure as smooth a handover as possible for schools. To facilitate the transition to the new Biblical Hebrew, Gujarati, Persian, Portuguese and Turkish GCSEs and A Levels to be developed by Pearson and AQA, we are extending the current OCR qualifications in these five languages for an additional year. The final assessment opportunities for Biblical Hebrew, Gujarati, Persian, Portuguese and Turkish will be in summer 2019, with resits in 2020 for AS and A Levels only. The final assessment opportunities in Dutch will take place in summer 2018, with resits in 2019 for AS and A Levels only.
OCR, as a not-for-profit organisation, is committed to offering as broad a range of qualifications to support teachers and learners as possible. We regret the loss of any subject from our qualification portfolio and recognise that ‘less taught’ languages make a unique educational contribution to the curriculum. We will of course continue to support and assess the current OCR ‘less taught’ language qualifications up to the conclusion of the final assessment series.
For further information on deadlines for submitting entries, entry amendments/withdrawals and the submission of marks for internal assessment please see the Admin guide: 14-19 qualifications. If you have any queries about this notice, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 01223 553998.