Gove to announce scrapping of GCSEs

(592 Posts)

But before anyone is taken in by the leak announcement in the Daily Hate Mail here, take the time to then read this for a more informed version.

With any luck they'll be out of a job in 2015 when this is sposed to be brought in, but there's no doubt GCSEs will be scrapped. What I woud hope is that Labour will get is finger out and propose a system that has had full consultation with schools, teachers, employment agencies, industry chiefs and unions.

It will change how every child is currently taught at secondary school. And I hope that doesn't mean some children's futures are determined by the age of 11.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 16-Sep-12 18:42:46

I'm trying not to even THINK about the 3 hour exam tbh. I don't think DD has been told yet.

How will a 3hr exam in a technology subject work if the DC requires a scribe and a reader and 25% extra time? That will make the exam 3hrs45mins for her...surely that's unfeasible for a DC with SN's?

wigglybeezer Sun 16-Sep-12 19:19:01

Yes Couthy, the Scottish system always seemed simpler and more straight forward than the English system now nobody seems to understand it!

I read in the TES that Singapore are planning to change their system to a system not dissimilar to the new Scottish curriculum, moving away from their very linear/rote based exams.

slipslider Sun 16-Sep-12 19:58:04

He likes the system he wants to put in place as it was how he was educated back in the day. However, as my mum has always told me - she felt inferior to her siblings who were able to take the higher exams. She was a late developer due to ill health and so her grades weren't as they should when needed so she had to access the lower while her elder and younger sister were able to take the higher. She said this hampered her esteem to go onto complete her degree and she always felt like the 'thick' one out of the family. She said it was as if their lives were destined from 11 as to what they would be or achieve and it reflected in the lessons. She is a lot brighter than I am and I have been to uni twice so had she been given the opportunity I am sure she would have flourished in time. It is sad that this is what we potentially are going to do to the future generation and which are going to be the children who are pigeon holed into the lower tier which will impact on their lives forever. Gove was ok in this system as he was obviously in the higher tier and had no understanding of how it felt to be labelled as lower. Get this man out for the sake of all children in education at the moment!

sunflowersfollowthesun Sun 16-Sep-12 20:21:57

With the greatest of respect, slipslider, my exam era was the same as Gove's.. I had three siblings. No I wasn't the smartest, but I was as smart as I could be. Didn't make me better or worse than any of my siblings. My family were just as thrilled with my average results as they were with one of my brother's flying colours, self esteem didn't come into it. Kids know who the smart kids are. They know where they fall in the ranks of their peers now, just as we did then.
I have DC at various stages of education, they differ hugely in subject ability but none them feel inferior/superior to any of the others. Why should they? Surely the deal has to be you do the best you can and that's good enough.
This being the case I don't understand how making the exam system more rigorous makes the slightest bit of difference.
I'm prepared to hear what the man has to say before I dismiss him out of hand. Something needs to be done to restore faith in our children's qualifications.

sunflowersfollowthesun Sun 16-Sep-12 20:23:50

Oh, and meant to say, kids take different levels of the same exams now anyway.

LaQueen Sun 16-Sep-12 20:28:39

I'm all for them.

A genuinely, rigorous exam for all, that tests the academic capabilities of everyone.

I really don't see the point in exams that you can re-sit, several times. Or exams that can be broken down into bite-sized, easily digested elements.

Not everyone is academic. And, having a series of exams created to allow as many non-academic students to pass them as possible, has always seemed a bit pointless to me.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 16-Sep-12 20:42:11

What we have with the GCSE is an exam for everyone. And from 2014 (so this year's year 10) there is no modularity. The linear exam is what is being replaced here, not the modular route.

The O level was not an exam for everyone. It was an exam for 25% of children. And the CSE was an exam for the rest.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 16-Sep-12 20:44:09

"Rigorous" is the word of the moment, isn't it? I mean, you just can't argue with it. I wonder what rigour the new qualifications will have that the 2012 specs don't.

slipslider Sun 16-Sep-12 20:47:11

I don't see how the exam system today differs from the uni system whereby you take modules and then have assessments over the duration and/or exams at the end of each. The resetting differs slightly but it is unfair on those who have knowledge but buckle under pressure from exam stress etc. I sat a system where it was all or nothing on an exam and so know the pressure. Surely it is not a true reflection of all children's capabilities and knowledge on that one day. I feel there should be ways to make the most able get an A* like it was in my school - I think only 3 or 4 from my year group did. I feel that those who are not academic will not achieve the grade anyway as the exams are not given supported like in uni where u can take notes in or get given seen questions! I am not against making them more rigorous but I feel those who can, will do and those who can't cope will not.

alcofrolic Sun 16-Sep-12 20:49:29

How will they deal with subjects like tech, art and photography, where over 50% of marks were based on course work?
Hours and hours and hours of toil and tears (mine, I might add grin) went into the 32+ A3 pages of ds's design tech GCSE.

GetDownNesbitt Sun 16-Sep-12 20:52:33

I have forgotten more about education than this twat knows.

I teach English. How the fuck does a single exam assess skills of analysis, composition, deep thinking? Even at degree level we had the chance to do dissertations, three day papers, assessed essays.

Despairing here.

Abra1d Sun 16-Sep-12 20:53:09

The Scottish system isn't that hot. Students have to do four years at university because Highers aren't equivalent to A levels.

Michael Gove is only doing what everyone knows needs doing but which nobody else would have the balls to do. As usual on MS there's a whole lot of indignant spluttering.

meditrina Sun 16-Sep-12 20:54:54

Children are of course currently tiered for a number of GCSEs, and the way the grade ceiling work is the same as the O level /CSE equivalence cut off. So the pecking order in schools and the early streaming/selection never really went away.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 16-Sep-12 20:55:56

I'm depressed. If DM is to be believed then dd who is now in yr7 will be the first year to do the new exams.

Don't want her to be a guinea pig.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 16-Sep-12 20:56:20

What is he doing? I genuinely want to know how the new "rigour" is going to manifest itself.

As I said, the GCSE courses starting this September will not be modular, so that will not be a change. Is it really just the removal of controlled assessments (which in Science would remove the practical component of the course)?

LaQueen Sun 16-Sep-12 21:13:14

All children aren't academic, in the same not all children are muscial or artistic.

All children should be given a solid, sound basic education. But exams should test for those whose brains have that peculiar quirk that makes them academically inclined.

Doesn't make them better. It just means that their brains have that quirk -so they can retain information, process it faster, analyse it more accurately etc, etc.

Obviously, all useful skills to have...but, certainly not the only useful skills to have, not by a long chalk.

As for it being fair...? Is if fair that certain children are creamed off, and sent to elite sport academies? Is it fair that certain children are creamed off and sent to elite music schools?

I don't think the concept of fair comes into it.

Making exams more digestible...allowing several re-sits...I don't think that's especially fair because it's just briging levels down to a lower common denominator.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 16-Sep-12 21:17:07

So, bearing in mind that anyone starting a GCSE course this year will not be able to re-take anyway (unless they re-take the whole shebang, which was always the case!), how are the new qualifications going to be different?

ravenAK Sun 16-Sep-12 21:21:17

Agree with GetDownNesbitt.

From a selfish POV, as an English teacher, I'll presumably have loads less marking to do. Rapidly losing the will to fight for my students who'll be cheated by this, tbh.

Hoping very hard the damage the mad fucker's doing will be at least partially reversedby the time my own dc are at secondary.

BrianButterfield Sun 16-Sep-12 21:31:40

I'm sure my fellow English teachers were as amused as I was at the revelation that they're going to "reintroduce essays to English Literature exams".

bochead Sun 16-Sep-12 21:54:20

The International Bac looks more & more appealing by the minute. This is creeping into the state sector by the back door thank goodness.

I intend to move to the same flipping street as a state IB school, it seems to me to be the only way left to ensure our offspring are able to compete in a global economy. British education used to be respected the globe over, the GCSE debacle this year was just yet another nail in the coffin.

I can't wait for the day when legislation is introduced to permantently remove polictians from any day to day influence over education, and instead we can concentrate on proper evidence-based pedagogies, methods and assessments for learning; instead of our teachers having to constantly adjust to the latest vanity project of the stuffed shirt of the day.

Agree wholeheartedly that most teachers (inc here HT's etc) have forgotten more about education than Gove will ever know. The worry is that even if he is replaced, the new incumbement will have a totally opposing ideology based on his/her wishlist rather than the needs of our children to screw things up even more. At a time when we are at risk of producing a whole "lost generation", unable to compete for what little work is still available locally against their foreign competitors, Gove is massaging his own ego constantly.

I'd love to see a real apprenticehip programme introduced for young people such as we see in countries such as Germany (not their economy esp in manufacturing puts ours to shame). Instead huge swathes of young people will be written off an early age - fit only for a dole that will no longer exist.

I'm so disapointed with this Governments whole approach to education, from the removal of proper protections for SN pupils, to the exclusion through funding of Uni places to English students (Welsh and Scottish students weren't impacted in the same way by tuition fee rises), to the back door privitatisation that free schools and the academies programme implies.

ravenAK Sun 16-Sep-12 21:57:06

Indeed BrianButterfield. Not sure wtf I was examining all July.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 16-Sep-12 21:57:58

I agree with Lequeen.

I was from the lower tier, not too bright at school (have come a long way since). I think it helped me to decide what I wanted to do with my life far sooner than if I had more opportunities. College and Uni for academic subjects were completely out of the question, so was a job with the Civil Service. I could have chosen any trade, craft etc I had a talent for and I did.
What I will say though its ok making whatever academic qual gov decide on more rigorous as long as there are as many opportunities for the none academic, to progress and gain relevant quals and work experience.

meditrina Sun 16-Sep-12 21:59:04

Interesting that such a high performing and oversubscribed IB school as St Pauls is reintroducing A levels (as well, not instead). I don't think it's necessarily a silver bullet.

meditrina Sun 16-Sep-12 22:00:59

I think the thing to watch out for in these proposals is not what the academic O levels might look like, but what the vocational programme will be. Historically the Cinderella, it's actually the thing that most needs attention.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 16-Sep-12 22:06:32

Meditrina.

Do you mean A levels introduced as an alternative to GCSE's at 16. I'm sorry I'm not familiar with these schools? Can you elaborate a bit please?

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