Coursework bites the dust in GCSE overhaul

The Government has unveiled plans to shake-up the current GCSE system. Photo: Press Association.

On his third attempt, Michael Gove today finally unveiled plans which are likely to see the end of coursework as a means of assessing 16-year-olds in England.

He had originally wanted to bring back O-levels and a two-tier system but his Coalition colleagues, the Liberal Democrats, scuppered the plan.

His next big idea was the English Baccalaureate or EBacc, with core subjects that included history, geography and a foreign language.

That, too, fell by the wayside.

Now the existing GCSEs are to change - with coursework scrapped for most subjects, as well as exam modules. In future, everything will hinge on exams taken at the end of a two-year course.

The Education Secretary is convinced this will raise standards. But some teachers feel it's turning the clock back and may actually harm some children's chances.

Interestingly, north of the border in Scotland, the trend is exactly the other way with some exams giving way to coursework.

For those seeking stability in schools in England, though, there was some hope today that the reforms announced may well be the last, for a year or two at least.

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