Publishers say the plan to abolish competing exam boards as GCSEs are scrapped in favour of new Baccalaureate certificates will open up the education market.
Lis Tribe, m.d. of Hodder Education, called the development "very good news". She said: "If there is a contract model where one exam board will be offering a particular subject, it will change entrenched partnerships between particular exam boards and one publisher. Exam boards have formed close relationships so parts of the market are closed off to certain publishers. There will now be more open competition."
HarperCollins Education m.d. Colin Hughes said his preference was for exam boards to work with "two or even three" preferred partners. There will also be an efficiency saving for publishers in not having to tweak materials to reflect the slightly differing requirements of various exam boards, Hughes said.
Tribe said the timing of the changes would be key. "The new exam is coming in early 2015, which means by this time next year we will need a very clear idea of what's in the new specification so that we can commission writers and produce materials."