Michael Gove drops plans to scrap GCSEs
PLANS to scrap GCSEs and replace them with a new qualification have been ditched in a Government U-turn.
Education secretary, Michael Gove announced last year that pupils would start taking the new qualification from September 2015, which would stop students retaking modules, reduce reliance on course work and bring back end-of-year exams.
But yesterday Mr Gove backed down on the plans following resistance from teachers, unions and examination boards.
The proposals were met with a mixed response from Gloucestershire head teachers.
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Principal Peter Kingham from All Saints' Academy in Cheltenham was pleased the idea had been scrapped.
He believed the English Baccalaureate Certificate was a qualification for the elite.
He said: "I was angry at the proposal and so I am relived the Government has changed its mind, but I do think the proof will be in the detail.
"We are heading the right way and I am pleased because this was not the appropriate way of supporting young people – it would have written off 30 per cent of students.
"Children need to keep their aspirations and everyone needs to be given an opportunity. I think there was no shortage of head teachers who had reservations, including examination boards and the education scrutiny committee, concerned – it was just not going to work."
Lawrence Montagu, headteacher of St Peter's RC High School in Stroud Road, Gloucester, was also concerned about the qualification.
He believed reverting back to a similar system to O levels has the potential to quash aspirations if the number of top grades are capped and believes emphasis on long examinations could turn qualifications into a memory test.
Mr Gove told the House of Commons yesterday the proposal was "a bridge too far".
He said GCSEs would be toughened up and a new points system to measure students' success would be introduced.