Why is the QCA doing this? From the television report you'd get the idea that it's all to do with preventing students downloading their essays off the Internet. But only a minority of teachers are worried about this, and I think the majority are right. I've always felt that students clever enough to plagiarize in such a way that it can't be spotted are clever enough to have no need of such underhand approaches, whilst those who are too lazy to write their own work are generally too stupid to hide their plagiarism.
The QCA report, on the other hand, seems to have decided that coursework is an inappropriate method of testing learning outcomes. I'm not impressed with this as a reason. I have always felt that coursework and exams test different skills, and an exam-only assessment, which is the way the QCA are heading, discriminates against students who are good in coursework but less good at exams. Since I can't imagine that students will no longer be required to write essays, it's only fair that those essays contribute towards their final mark - otherwise students may feel that essays are a waste of time, and not work too hard on them, with the result that they won't be as well-prepared for the exams as they should be. If, as the QCA suggests, assessed coursework is unfit for purpose in a culture of league tables, perhaps it's the culture that is wrong.