UK & World News
Education Shake-Up: EBaccs To Replace GCSEs
The GCSE exam for 16-year-old children in England is to be replaced by an English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBacc), the Education Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed.
The new qualification will scrap the retaking of "modules", reduce reliance on coursework, and bring back tough end-of-year exams.
The education overhaul, the biggest in a generation, was announced by Mr Gove in the House of Commons.
Mr Gove told MPs the GCSE exam was conceived and designed for a different age and world, adding that the overhaul was designed to end the competition between exam boards.
He said the single exam would mean pupils were "tested transparently on what they and they alone can do at the end of years of deep learning".
"It is time for the race to the bottom to end. We believe it is time to tackle grade inflation and dumbing down. We believe it is time to raise aspirations and restore rigour," he said.
Children of all abilities will take the EBacc and there will be only one exam board for each subject, in order to prevent competition between boards to deliver tests which are easier to pass.
Ahead of Mr Gove's address to the Commons, details of the overhaul were disclosed in a joint article with Mr Clegg in the Evening Standard newspaper.
Mr Gove and Mr Clegg wrote: "We believe that if we remove modules and reduce coursework, get rid of the factors that encourage teaching to the test and, above all, ensure there is just one exam board for each subject, we can restore faith in our exams and equip children for the challenges of the 21st century."
Teaching of the new English, maths and science certificates will begin in September 2015, with the first pupils receiving EBacc rather than GCSE qualifications in 2017.
Other subjects, including history, geography and languages, will follow.
Mr Gove and Mr Clegg said the EBacc will become a "near-universal qualification" taken by almost all English schoolchildren.
After initial divisions, Mr Gove and Mr Clegg agreed on plans to make exams tougher for 15 and 16-year-olds in order to address concerns about "dumbing down".
It is understood that he and Mr Gove have worked closely over the summer to find common ground.
The changes follow controversy over the grading of this year's GCSE English exams after the threshold required to obtain a grade C was raised between January and June.
Responding to Mr Gove's announcement in the Commons, shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg told MPs that ditching coursework was "totally out of date".
"The education leaving age is rising to 18. We need to face the challenges of the 21st century," he said.
"But I simply don't accept that we achieve that by returning to a system abolished as out of date in the 1980s.
"Instead, we need a system that promotes rigour and breadth, and prepares young people for the challenges of the modern economy."
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what do you think?
They cannot leave thing`s alone If ain't broke leave it alone.Too many students passes for university competing with their posh children.Lib/Dems are useless.
GCSE's are not good. When i studied for GCSE maths and physics i compared previous years exams to old O-Level exams. There was a huge difference.
Looks like we are going backwards! I took O levels in the 1960s and someone decided to change system in the 80s when my son was at school. Why? Let all children have an equal chance and with the right education they will succeed. Also, dont limit the number of As and A*s. If a child has the ability to get such grades then give it to the child - it is not a lottery! Universities are not full, particularly with the cost of fees which needs looking at, and some may even have to close down. Education equality for children is probably more important than work equality for adults in the short term. They are the future and without them our country has no future.
You only have to compare our results to those of other countries to see things need to change. If it's not the exams that are at fault as some would suggest, then it's the teachers who are to blame.....but if anyone suggests the latter they get abused.
Quite a generalisation there - though you do have a point about SOME teachers. I suppose you get the numpty underachievers in all professions but in teaching it's notoriously difficult to get rid of them. Very frustrating indeed!
MOST teachers. Some are good, most are demented commies.
Well sweety, would you believe it? There is thumbs up from me on your post there. Your post was not in line with Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" but it was a very good attempt to be rational and not just quoting from your "fairy tales" again.
The kids have to stay in some sort of education till the are 18 now
Of course you do not need my thumbs up hrsb19, but I wanted to give you it anyway.
And I have given you both a thumbs up, Michael and hrsb, just for amusing me! Hilarious, my boys!
Thank you movvi, that was very kind of you and here is a BIG thumbs up for you. Sweety, you be polite to movvi and say thank you.
Ha ha ha! I just gave you one again (oo-er). Come on, hrsb, my boy - gis a thumbs up!
oh, gawd. Get a room, you lot ;P
I keep on telling you, our schooling system is like a broken clock. Everyoine likes to come along and fiddle with it, but non of them are horologists. My interes here is with Clegg, who always said he would oppose anything that would lead to a two-tier system. So when this came along he again showed his dispicable cowardly colours, yet again. His "common ground" was no such thing. It was purely a deal to suspend this action until after the next election. If, as he has said today, this is a good thing, why delay? I told you he would do as his tory masters tell you and he is doing just that. His delay is purely for political gain and nothing else.
Isn't the system 2 tier already? There are foundation level and higher level GCSEs - passing a foundation level will not get you more than a C grade.
Yes, Janet. How frustrating! I fear it's just a renaming to get the illinformed off their backs!
Has anyone had the nerve to tell Maggie yet that her flagship GCSEs have been kicked into touch by Gove? So O-levels were fit for purpose after all. Shame she didn't realise that before scrapping them.
It was the Callaghan government that took the political decision to merge the 2 tier exam sysytem into a single 'GCSE' , but it was delayed by the 1979 election result and was brought in by a later government.
It's happened again!!! My stalker appears, says something horrible, gives himself /herself a thumbs up and then is immediately blocked because he is a user who has been blocked by the staff!!!
your better off ignoring them, you will just make it worse.
ARGH! People have been saying for ages that exams are too easy and the second they're not, they change the system! it makes no sense to me
poor poor edexcel.lost the contract have we ! jobs for the boys gone wrong.
Aarrgh! It doesn't matter what they call them - they just need to work. For example, GCSEs have changed almost unrecognisably in some subjects since their introduction and I fear the most that will be done is to rename them! There is little wrong with many GCSE courses - it's with the bizarre marking and grade awarding that most have a gripe.
What are the educational qualifications required to be an MP?
Chums in high places?!
Gove and his sidekick Clegg are lining themselves up to be the 'acceptable' face in a new extreme right wing government. This announcement is just a smokescreen.
There is no point in changing the system in the belief it will cure all - it would be far easier to tighten up the current system and for once take into account the need of employers, and the students it is pointless continuing to educate to standard that future employers have little or no faith in Education should set children up for future life, not be a tick in the box for the schools in a league table A major review of universities also needs to take place - for far too long these have been run for the benefit of the lecturers and staff, not the students
...its all too easy .....in my day !!!!!!!!!!!