It’s over 5 years now since Michael Gove’s decision to bow to his critics and retain GCSEs. But despite this humiliating reversal, Gove, who had arrogantly lectured the education establishment on the need to introduce new English Baccalaureate certificates in key subjects, still managed to impose his educational priorities and undermine much of what was … Continue reading Key Stage 4: what price a campaign?
This year’s GCSE results have been met with (deserved) criticism over the new grading system, the changes to assessment and the emphasis that continues to be placed on ‘high status’ Ebacc subjects at the expense of others. All of these have resulted in further pressure and anxiety for the ‘exam generation’ – yet discussion about … Continue reading GCSE – do we really need it?
This years A-level cohort is the first to take the new style qualifications – part of wider changes introduced by Michael Gove to make exams ‘fit for purpose’. Gove ended the AS level as a half way point to a full award and set strict limits on the amount of coursework – most subjects would be … Continue reading A-level. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
More than a year after it was supposed to, the government has finally published its response on Implementing_the_English_Baccalaureate_ Since then, Nicky Morgan has been replaced by Justine Greening and the Ebacc has been slammed by just about everybody from teacher unions to employer organisations. Though government only sought views about the implementation and … Continue reading The Bac is back (or is it?)
The Guardian (Editorial February 20th) has now joined the attack on University Technology Colleges* correctly arguing that directing ‘non-academic’ students’ onto a vocational curriculum at 14 - what it terms ‘backdoor selection’ - is wrong. Some five years after Alison Wolf’s review had slammed many qualifications for being ‘worthless’ in the labour market, the paper likens the … Continue reading A good general education for everybody
University Technology Colleges (UTCs) for 14-19 year olds, were established during Michael Gove’s period as Education Secretary but are most associated with Lord (Kenneth) Baker, the creator of the original ten subject national curriculum under Mrs Thatcher, but now a campaigner for better vocational education. Baker argued that Britain’s economic difficulties and low rates of … Continue reading Schools that nobody really wants?
As 2016 draws to a close we are still awaiting a statement on the English Baccalaureate/ upper secondary curriculum from new Secretary of State. Justin Greening - the consultation period for Ebacc ended almost a year ago. Nicky Morgan’s – now largely shelved –White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere reaffirmed the Cameron government’s objectives of a 90% participation rate … Continue reading 14-19 hiatus
The NUT has just released King’s College research on the effects of government policies on the secondary curriculum. Based on a sample of 1800 secondary members and in depth school case studies, key findings show amongst other things: 74% of teachers consider the Ebacc requirements are dramatically narrowing the curriculum. 84% worry that the excessive … Continue reading Important NUT research on the secondary curriculum
Last week the Department for Education released provisional performance data for secondary schools.* The data includes the number of students ‘entering’ and ‘achieving’ the EBacc, Michael Gove's flagship qualification designed to restore 'rigour' to the curriculum. For the former it’s 39.6% of all state funded students, up from 38.6% for 2014/15 and still nowhere near … Continue reading EBacc gets stuck?
There will be a new headline performance measure for secondary schools from September 2016. Schools will no longer be ranked according to the number of students passing achieving 5 A* to C GCSEs. Instead, Attainment 8 data will record the average score for their year 11 students across 8 subjects. More significantly they will … Continue reading The EBacc and Progress 8