Heads welcome Government GCSEs u-turn

Headteachers in South Holland have welcomed the Government’s decision to scrap plans to replace some GCSE exams with a new English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBacc).

The decision to abandon the reform, which would have seen a single end-of-course exam in subjects including English, maths and sciences, was announced by Education Secretary Michael Gove in the House of Commons on Thursday.

He said plans for the new exam were “a bridge too far,” while headteachers in South Holland branded Mr Gove’s proposal as “rushed, ill-thought-out and nonsensical.”

Janet Daniels, headteacher of Sir John Gleed School, Spalding, said: “As a headteacher and a member of the teaching profession, I welcome the fact that Michael Gove has listened to the professionals and recognised that these reforms were rushed and ill-thought-out.

“We want the best for our young people and that includes qualifications which are valued and which prepare them for the adult world they will inhabit.

“We welcome the recognition that downgrading so many subjects and creating an artificial elite list was highly damaging for education and our reputation as world leaders in this field.”

Mr Gove’s plans emerged after a controversy over the marking of GCSE English papers last summer where a third of South Holland students received lower grades than expected.

Martyn Taylor, headteacher at Thomas Cowley High School, Donington, said: “I am delighted that this nonsensical scheme has been abandoned.

“As a school with many students who have profound talent in design and technology, music, art, drama and dance, I am delighted that subjects like these are not going to be marginalised.”