Michael Gove, the education secretary, has suggested that plans to replace GCSEs with O-levels and CSEs may not go ahead as planned.
Newspaper reports last week revealed the minister's intention to introduce a revised system following criticism that current exams are getting easier to pass.
However, in a speech at a Spectator conference yesterday (June 26th), Mr Gove said that he wants every child to be given the opportunity to sit the tougher exam - implying plans for a two-tier exam system could be scrapped.
In views that could interest those looking for teaching jobs
, the education secretary added that all he would like is for children to have the opportunity to make choices for themselves with the right level of qualifications available.
Mr Gove told the conference: "I want us to ensure that in the next ten years, at least 80 per cent of our young people are on course to securing good passes in properly testing exams in maths, English and science - more rigorous than those our children sit now.
"This goal, while explicitly ambitious, is also entirely achievable. In Singapore the exams designed for 16-year-olds embody all those virtues and are taken successfully by 80 per cent - and rising - of the population."
He added that one of the most debilitating things about the recent education system has been people making judgements early in a child's life about "what they are fit for".
At the same conference, shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said that the timing of the report's leak was terrible for children who took their GCSEs.
He added: "How insulting to young people who had studied and revised so hard."
Meanwhile, exams regulator Ofqual announced a planned shake up of A-levels last week, which could include restricting the number of retakes pupils can sit in the future.
Furthermore, proposals include the scrapping of AS levels, which are taken in the year before the full A-level exam, and the reduction of modules.
Primary, secondary and supply teacher recruitment at Capita Education Recruitment.