Headteachers add their voices to criticism of new type of GCSE award

More advice, say students

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HEADTEACHERS in Portsmouth have welcomed the education select committee’s criticism of a new GCSE award that could disadvantage bright students.

MPs criticised education secretary Michael Gove’s plans to introduce the English Baccalaureate (Ebac) for pupils with C or above in five specific subjects.

They argued teenagers with A* in four of those GCSEs would be worse off than others with Cs in all five, who would gain the certificate.

Head of King Richard School in Paulsgrove Adam Dare said: ‘The Ebac has in effect downgraded a number of perfectly good subjects and qualifications. It marginalises the arts, which are essential for enrichment, and ICT.

‘Whilst all Ebac subjects have a central place in education, this does not make them right for everybody, including some very bright students who may now not get places at the best universities because they are useless at languages.’

Headteacher of Admiral Lord Nelson School in Copnor Steve Labedz added: ‘The Ebac is an interesting measure with real worth for many parents, and attempts to measure success in a curriculum is important.

‘However, it measures a relatively narrow range of subjects which could distort curriculum provision in schools with no clear understanding of their students’ needs.’