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Gove develops interim GCSE plan

19 September 2012

19 September 2012

One of the biggest gripes about Michael Gove’s GCSE reforms from those on board with the changes is that they won’t come into effect until after the 2015 election. Supporters wonder why there is such a lag between ministers reaching agreement about scrapping an exam that they currently believe is not fit for purpose, and pupils sitting down to take the new qualification. The answer is that it was part of the deal that was reached with Nick Clegg, who was initially upset about the direction of the changes.

The Independent reports today that Gove does have an interim plan, though. To underline the fact that he has little faith in existing GCSEs, he is encouraging state schools to put their pupils through IGCSEs instead. These exams are popular with private schools because they place greater emphasis on examinations at the end of the year, and the Education Secretary believes they might be an ‘appropriate qualification’ for the new English Baccalaureate.

The National Union of Teachers has said schools will ‘not want to swap and change courses on such a short-term basis’, but even if they are comfortable with the current GCSE system, many may feel the impending reform devalues the qualification to the extent that IGCSEs are the only attractive option.


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  • anyfool

    It is no good upgrading the exams without upgrading the teachers, if they cannot teach to the current low standard what chance of higher achievement,
    Are the hundred thousand poor teachers of a couple of years ago still there and will they still be there in 2015, i think the answer is yes to both.

  • Mr Arthur Cook

    A perfect example of the degree of understanding Gove has of how schools work. He actually imagines that a school could drop GCSEs and start the I bacc at the drop of a hat and then change again when the mad Baron Govenstein shocks life into his Frankenbacc!
    Does he know how long it takes to plan and start a new course and have it bed in? Has he not been told that? He’d know more if he listened to educationalists rather than his backroom gaggle of think-tank yes boys.

  • UlyssesReturns

    Let Mr Gove’s single-minded approach to his objective, Education, Education, Education, be a lesson to the rest of his supine cabinet colleagues (with the possible exception of IDS and maybe Pickles). The more we see of this true Tory, and the more he upsets the teachers’ unions, Clegg and the left, the more we on the right like him. Boris be damned. if Mr Gove wants the leadership, he would probably get it, and I for one would be happy to switch my allegiance to him.

    • L’Arse

      Thank God Gove’s posturing isn’t purely about politics, eh Ulysses?

      I wish you well in switching your allegiance to a new leader.

      Meanwhile, to answer the question at hand, how come ‘supporters wonder why there is such a lag between ministers reaching agreement about scrapping an exam that they currently believe is not fit for purpose, and pupils sitting down to take the new qualification.’

      Perhaps it’s because ministers, with no teaching experience whatsoever, will have to consult the professionals before implementing their latest cack-handed proposals.

      • Publius

        “consult the professionals”

        I didn’t hear much from “the professionals” during the years of constant debasement.

        • L’Arse

          No – they were too busy teaching.

  • JaneS

    perhaps with a view to more students then progressing to the IB in their last 2 years of formal education.

  • JaneS

    perhaps with a view to more students then progressing to the IB in their last 2 years of formal education.

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