MPs criticise plans to axe GCSEs

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.

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GCSE plans could 'squeeze' creativity out of the system

Ed Miliband has been speaking to ITV Daybreak about the Government's radical new plans to scrap GCSEs and overhaul the school exam system.

The Labour leader will today set out his plans to get more young people into work.

He said that people are against the new plans, because they feel the Government is "squeezing creativity out of the system".

He added some children need high quality vocational skills, to help them get into full time employment.

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."

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Questions over Government's case to abolish GCSEs

GCSE exams could be scrapped under controversial new government proposals by 2015.

Plans to axe them in favour of English Baccalaureate Certificates have been criticised by the Commons Education Select Committee.

ITV Daybreak spoke to MP Graham Stuart from the Education Select Committee, who said the committee is questioning whether the Government has made a strong enough case to abolish the GCSE brand.

Govt should focus on 'improving' GCSE achievement

The education select committee report on exam reform states that in 2011/12, 41.4% of pupils did not get five GCSEs, including English and maths, at grades A*-C.

It suggested the government should focus on improving the achievement of the "significant minority" that do not achieve five good GCSEs.

"While it is right to raise young people's expectations and aspirations, we fail to see how raising the bar will automatically result in more young people achieving higher standards," the report said.

"Furthermore, we have serious concerns about how well the proposed reforms will serve the 40% plus of pupils who do not achieve the Government's current floor standard."

Government's position on exam reform 'untenable'

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.

National Union of Teachers general secretary Christine Blower. Credit: Zoe Klassnik/PA Wire

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.

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MPs criticise Government plans to axe GCSE exams

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.

Government plans to axe GCSEs in favour of English Baccalaureate Certificates have been criticised by MPs. Credit: Press Association

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.

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