- 34 updates
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, has said that Michael Gove has embarked on a "cynical and wholly unjustifiable" attempt to discredit GCSEs.
She added that today's proposals to replace GCSEs with an English Baccalaureate Certificate were "entirely driven by political ideology rather than a genuine desire on the part of the coalition Government to reform the examination system in the best interests of children and young people".
The GCSE exam for 16 year old children in England is to be replaced by an English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBacc), with the first courses to begin in September 2015, it was announced today.
The new qualification will scrap the modules retakes and aim to reduce reliance on coursework.
Children of all abilities will take the EBacc and there will be only one exam board for each subject.
Education Secretary Michael Gove and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
The announcement was made in a joint article in the Evening Standard several hours before Mr Gove was due to outline his plans in a statement to the House of Commons.
Nick Gibb, who was an education minister until the reshuffle, has said that Labour would not be able to block proposed changes to the GCSE exams in England, if it won the election in 2015.
"Well, [Labour] won’t be able to because schools will already be preparing for it from September 2014. They won’t be the government in 2014", Mr Gibb told BBC News.
"If – and I hope it doesn’t happen – they win the election in 2015, schools will already be prepared and it will be too late for the government to change the policy."
The director general of the Institute of Directors has welcomed proposed changes to the exam system for students in England, due to be announced later today. Simon Walker said:
The Director of Employment and Skills at the Confederation of British Industries has told ITV News that too many young people were "drifting through the system" as plans to scrap GCSE exams are expected to be announced later today.
Neil Carberry said that "rigorous" exams were needed for the 21st century.
Kevin Brennan, Shadow Minister for Schools has told ITV Wales that he understands "there is a need for reform", but that it should not be an "imposed view" from Education Secretary Michael Gove, who will unveil GCSE reform plans later today.
Mr Brennan said that "proper consultations" were needed with everyone concerned, and that a potential return to O-level exams would be a "big mistake".
GCSE reforms should be "left to professionals", Martin Johnson, deputy general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), has said. The new examination regime is due to be announced later today.
Mr Johnson said: "A new exam certainly should not be designed on the back of a restaurant menu as a short-term political fix by ignorant ministers.
"This is an insult to the nation's children who will have to live with the consequences if the crackpot ideas are implemented."
The Welsh Government says any decision on the future of GCSEs in Wales 'cannot be rushed' and must be based on the findings of a review into the exam system.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said:
New GCSE exam reforms could risk a return to a two-tier system, Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg responded today. Mr Twigg said:
Russell Hobby, general secretary to the National Association of Head Teachers has told ITV News that planned GCSE reforms do not "go far enough" and that the government needs to "hold schools accountable" for current flaws in the system.
Latest ITV News reports
The GCSE exam for children in England is to be replaced by an English Baccalaureate Certificate with the first courses to begin in 2015.
Education Secretary Michael Gove is to unveil details of a major overhaul of GCSE exams marking a return in part to the old O-level system.