Hampshire headteachers back government move to scrap GCSEs

EXAMS GCSEs will change, say ministers
EXAMS GCSEs will change, say ministers
Some of the Mayville High School pupils who have become members of Mensa   Picture:  Malcolm Wells (180425-5690)

That’s clever - Southsea school pupils as young as 10 become members of Mensa

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HEADTEACHERS broadly welcomed government plans to scrap GCSEs – but warned they need more details about the qualification replacing it.

Education minister Michael Gove yesterday announced the GCSE is to be replaced by a ‘tougher’ English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBacc).

Teachers locally welcomed the move, especially after this summer’s grading scandal which saw thousands of complaints over GCSE English exam marking.

Adam Dare, headteacher of King Richard School in Paulsgrove, said: ‘This summer’s shambles means the exam boards, Ofqual and GCSE qualifications are thoroughly discredited.

‘I don’t think the GCSE deserves the opprobrium it has had heaped on it, but the mud has stuck and the English grading scandal has not helped.’

However, he warned more flesh is needed on the school reforms before he can fully embrace the change.

‘There are more questions than answers and the proposal has been put together by the coalition in a couple of months without consultation with parents, employers or schools,’ he said.

‘We will have to wait and see until we can pass judgment on the proposed new qualification.’

Youngsters of all abilities will take the EBacc exam, and the first courses will begin in September 2015.

The changes will prevent pupils retaking certain course modules, reduce the weighting of coursework on grades and increase importance on end-of-year exams.

David Rowlinson, the headteacher of Cowplain Community School, said: ‘I don’t really have any concerns except that I don’t know what they are or how they will work.

‘Once we know what we have got to do, students and teachers can buckle down and get on with it.’

Portsmouth City Council Lib Dem leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson backed the coalition’s plan to axe GCSEs.

He said: ‘Pupils work really hard to get their exam results and they deserve to have a qualification that people trust and think is of value.

‘If this change produces that, then it will be a good move.’