With reference to the course outlines, it can be evidenced that not only are independent schools able sit coursework and be entered for exams in January and June; the examinations they are sitting are actually easier too.
For the sake of a straightforward comparison I am using Pearson IGCSE first examined in 2018 and GCSE English Literature first examined in 2017.
How can this be comparable to what the state schools have to deliver?
All they are doing is changing the letters to numbers, for grades.
He said that we needed grades 9-1 so that universities and employers could identify the very top students, and that a Grade 9 would equate to an A**, Grade 8 an A* and Grade 7 an A.
Unfortunately, what has evolved is that this ideology has only been enforced on the state maintained schools and NOT on the private schools who are free to take the International GCSEs.
Imagine my shock when I downloaded the Edexcel (Pearson) International GCSE for English Literature and English Language Grade 9-1, first sitting 2018, only to discover that their new curriculum has an option for: ‘The qualification supports seamless progression to further study, with up-to-date content reflecting the latest thinking in the subject.
It is comparable to the UK reformed GCSEs in terms of the level of demand and assessment standards.’Consequently, this leaves the English state students at an even greater disadvantage.
(Independent schools can still sit the old style IGCSE in 2017).
Below, I have bullet pointed the main differences, which serve to highlight that it is not just the coursework that is a factor in making the IGCSE easier, it is also the content, the approach, the length of the examinations, and the academic rigour of the examinations.