Gove 'U-turn' on GCSEs

The Education Secretary Michael Gove has been forced to reverse his flagship plan to scrap GCSEs and replace them with a new English Baccalaureate.

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Tate director: GCSE plans would 'squeeze out the arts'

The director of the Tate galleries has welcomed the Education Secretary's decision to U-turn over GCSEs today.

Tate Director Nicholas Serota welcomes GCSEs U-turn. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

Nicholas Serota, who has spoken out previously against the plan not to include the arts among the English Baccalaureate Certificates's proposed core subjects said:

"We welcome the news that the Government has abandoned elements of its proposals to introduce a system which would have squeezed arts subjects out of the curriculum."

Teaching union: GCSEs U-turn 'a victory'

The National Union of Teachers has welcomed the Education Secretary's decision to U-turn over GCSEs today. General secretary Christine Blower said:

This is a victory for all those who have campaigned against this ill thought-out reform to GCSEs.

The Education Secretary must now learn a lesson from this fiasco and consult with those who know far more than he appears to do about education.

– Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers

Michael Gove's 'failed vision for education'

The Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg said today's announcement was a humiliating climbdown for Michael Gove. Speaking to the Commons Mr Twigg said:

This is a failed vision for education. A total misunderstanding of the future needs of our country. A total shambles. Forced into apologising to the House when you scrapped Building Schools for the Future. Forced into a partial U-turn on school sport. You should have learned your lesson by now.


Michael Gove confirms GCSE climbdown

Education Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed to the Commons that he is not pressing ahead with plans to scrap GCSEs. He said:

"One of the proposals I put forward was a bridge too far... The exam regulator OFQUAL was clear. There were significant risks in trying to both strengthen qualifications and to end competition in large parts of the exams market.

"I will not proceed with plans to have a single exam board offering a new exam in each academic subject. Instead we will concentrate on reforming existing GCSEs broadly along the lines we put forward in September."

Michael Gove Credit: House of Commons
  1. Carl Dinnen

'Gove levels' get marked down

The Education Secretary Michael Gove is one of the Government's biggest reformers. That can be good or bad depending on your point of view.

Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove Credit: Press Association

But the U-turn on his GCSE reforms - labelled by some as Gove Levels - is a considerable setback. This is not just because he has bowed to considerable opposition (which included the exams regulator OFQUAL).

Many thought the plans were hastily pulled together and then rushed through. Even a former Tory Education Secretary Kenneth Baker said so. So this reversal is also potentially damaging to Mr Gove's perceived competence. It will certainly embolden the critics of his other reforms.

'Welcome decision' over GCSE U-turn

This is an extremely welcome decision. ASCL has never believed that GCSE is beyond repair and has been advocating this course of action for many months.

This decision will provide an opportunity to improve the existing qualification and will be warmly welcomed by the profession.

– Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders

Labour: U-turn is a 'victory for good quality education'

The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has been forced into a U-turn on his flagship plan to scrap GCSEs and replace them with a new English Baccalaureate.

Speaking to ITV Daybreak, Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg said this was a "humiliating climbdown" for the coalition.

He said he hoped the GCSE system would be revisited, but with an emphasis on vocational education, the Labour party support plans for a 'technical Baccalaureate'.

Mr Twigg added that he wanted to "work with the Government to get a better set of exams for the future."

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