Questions over future of GCSEs

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HEADTEACHERS have questioned why so many changes are being made to education as Michael Gove announces plans to scrap GCSEs.

The education secretary told the House of Commons that GCSEs will move from coursework and assessments to exams at the end of the two years.

An archive picture from 2004 of ''Miltoncross School pupils taking an English exam in Portsmouth

An archive picture from 2004 of ''Miltoncross School pupils taking an English exam in Portsmouth

They will also be graded with numbers instead of letters.

And the exams will be more difficult with more essay-style questions. The changes will initially be for nine core GCSE subjects.

But Mike Smith, headteacher of the City of Portsmouth Boys School, said plans to change the format to do more exams at the end of the year won’t make a big difference to them.

‘I don’t think there’s any significant change in that,’ he said.

‘We have already disbanded with modular courses and exams. But I don’t know what problem Michael Gove is trying to fix. I don’t understand it.

‘I don’t see the point in switching to a system that is completely different. It will be very difficult for a future employer to equate a grade C to a level 3 or 4. There is so much change in education already.’

Headteacher of Crofton School in Stubbington Matthew Leeming said: ‘I think that change can be good. Schools, in common with other publicly-funded organisations, have a duty to be the best they can be and that involves change.

‘But the curriculum and exam changes are coming in very fast. It does seem rather rushed.

‘The thing that needs to be improved is the outcomes for less-favoured children.

‘If it’s about making exams harder I can see how that might benefit people who are going to go off to university.

‘But in terms of people who are at a certain disadvantage this doesn’t seem to be the answer at all.’

The changes would come into force from September 2015.