Government plans to axe GCSEs in favour of English Baccalaureate Certificates have been criticised by the Commons education select committee who are also asking the coalition to slow down its pace of exam reform.
Plans to axe GCSEs: The system needs a 'proper review'
MPs and education professionals are warning that plans to axe GCSEs in favour of English Baccalaureate Certificates in English, maths and science could lead to the 'downgrading' of remaining GCSE subjects.
Speaking to ITV Daybreak, Kathryn James from the National Association of Head Teachers said: "[The Government] is putting in a system, far too quickly, without a proper review."
Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, says Education Secretary Michael Gove is "isolated" in his view that GCSEs should be replaced.
She said: "Michael Gove and the Coalition Government's position on examination reform is now surely untenable. The Education Secretary is totally isolated in his view that the English Baccalaureate Certificates are a suitable measure to replace GCSEs."
Axing of some GCSEs will 'downgrade' other subjects
Government plans to axe GCSEs in favour of English Baccalaureate Certificates in English, maths and science have been critisised in a report by the Commons education select committee. MPs fear the subjects remaining as GCSEs will effectively be 'downgraded'.
The report says:
We are very concerned about the potential impact of the EBCs on subjects outside the English Baccalaureate, which will be left with 'discredited' GCSE qualifications for some time.
We question the extent to which it is possible to 'upgrade' some subjects without implicitly 'downgrading' others.
Government plans to axe GCSEs in favour of a new exam could fail to help less able pupils and leave some subjects with discredited qualifications, a cross-party group of MPs has warned.
In a damning report, the Commons education select committee said that while significant improvements to GCSEs were needed, ministers had failed to prove their case for scrapping the qualification, and urged them to slow down the pace of reforms.
Education Secretary Michael Gove announced plans last year to axe GCSEs in favour of new English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs) in English, maths and science.
The qualifications will be first taught in September 2015, with students sitting the first exams in 2015.
EBCs in history, geography and languages will follow at a later date, and GCSEs are set to remain for other subjects.
But in its report on the proposals, published today, the select committee said it had a number of concerns about the reforms.