Michael Gove has revealed that GCSE exams in England will be replaced by the English Baccalaureate Certificate.
This will mean an end to continuously assessed coursework for pupils in their final two years at school, and a switch back to an O Level style final examination in each of the subjects they study.
The new system will be introduced in September 2015, with the first examinations taking place in Spring 2017. However, if Labour are successful at the next election, the proposals could theoretically be scrapped just before they are due to begin.
The shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg has already voiced the opposition's criticism of the plans, branding them "totally out of date and out of touch".
Under Michael Gove's reforms all students will take the English Baccalaureate in English, maths, and science, along with one humanities subject and one language.
Those who do not make the grade first time round will get a chance to resit the exams at 17 or 18.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told the Telegraph that the new system would 'raise standards for all our children' and that it would 'not exclude any children.'
He added that the changes would give parents 'confidence in the exams their children are taking' and 'raise standards for all our children in schools in the country'.
GCSEs were introduced in 1986, replacing the old O Level and CSE qualifications.
What do you think about the changes?