Can anyone explain the EBACC to me please?

(37 Posts)
mrsshears Sun 05-Feb-12 22:09:01

Hi sorry for my clueless post but options are a new thing for me, my dd knows she is taking all the required/mandatory options and will be taking geography,art,drama and german for the others.
On the options booklet that has been sent home she can either take the traditional GCSE route or this new EBACC route but i have no idea what the difference is? do they both count as gcse's? i will call dd's teacher tomorrow to find out more but i just thought i would ask here first
TIA

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Sun 05-Feb-12 22:13:23

The ebacc is just a way for the league tables to measure what kind of gcses students are taking. Your dd can take whatever gcses she's likes, but the school may try to guide her into the ebacc gcses as it will reflect well on them. The gcses that count as the ebacc are: 1 English, maths, science, 1 humanity out or history and geog and 1 MFL. Mist schools are selling the ebacc as a more academic route towards uni.

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Sun 05-Feb-12 22:14:08

Do excuse the typos. Blimmin iPhone

GnomeDePlume Sun 05-Feb-12 22:14:35

Not sure what your school means by the ebacc route but the ebacc (English Baccalaureate) is a schools performance indicator (ie a measure) of the percentage of students achieving A*-C in English, mathematics, two sciences, a foreign language and history or geography.

mrsshears Sun 05-Feb-12 22:17:31

Thanks,so as far as dd's concerned then both routes will give her gcse's but the ebacc is more for the schools benefit but could be useful if she decides she wants to go to university?

GnomeDePlume Sun 05-Feb-12 22:26:14

It is to the advantage of the school as it is one of the measures. The subjects included are traditional. This can be a major advantage. One of the pieces of advice I gave DD1 when choosing GCSEs was to go for subjects which dont take too much explanation. This is especially important if planning to go to university.

seeker Sun 05-Feb-12 22:32:36

It's just a name for getting A*-C in 6 traditional subjects. Which a child with an eye to their future should be doing anyway. And it is also a way to clarify league tables. People did not understand that the league tables included vocational and othery non academic subjects as GCSE equivilants.

webwiz Sun 05-Feb-12 22:33:41

I would have thought the Ebacc route WAS the traditional GCSE route so its no wonder parents are confused if this is the sort of stuff schools give out.

mrsshears the choices your DD has made means she would be considered as having the Ebacc for her schools league table but it shouldn't make any difference to her other than she has a nice mix of subjects to carry on to GCSE.

CustardCake Mon 06-Feb-12 09:56:58

EBacc = choosing GCSEs in English, Maths, Science, one language and one humanity
And then getting an A* - C Grade in each of those subjects. If you do that, you've got the EBacc

ie EBacc is not a type of qualification. It is the name for a set of 5 GCSE subjects achieved at a good grade. It is considered to cover traditional and academic subjects.

CustardCake Mon 06-Feb-12 09:58:47

Just to follow on from webwiz when she says your daughter has got the EBacc because of the subjects she has chosen. This is only true so long as she gets a C or above in all of them. If a pupil gets a D in the language GCSE for example, then they don't have the EBacc even though they took the right subjects.

sue52 Mon 06-Feb-12 10:31:44

If the EBacc isn't a qualification in it's own right, how can you be said to have it?. I haven't seen it on any university course entry requirements yet.

CustardCake Mon 06-Feb-12 10:38:24

Sue52 - it is very new. It does exist though - secondary schools are already rated on what % of pupils achieve it (ie what % of pupils get 5 traditional GCSEs at grade C or above).
I don't think you get a certificate or a fanfare or anything but it is widley agreed that now it exists, it will be something that Universities may ask for in the future so a lot of secondary schools are making big changes to ensure they offer it (ie to ensure most pupils take a language GCSE and the right combination of other subjects). It will take a while to trickle down into A Level and degree requirements I expect.

seeker Mon 06-Feb-12 10:52:45

And it really does mqke you look at the league tables in a different way. My dd is at a very traditional high achieving grammar school with 99% of the girls getting 5 A*-c including English and Maths last year. But "only" 68% got the EBacc.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 06-Feb-12 11:10:05

> either take the traditional GCSE route or this new EBACC route
As others have said, there's no difference, strange way to describe it. EBACC just means adding an MLF and geog/hist to the mandatory subjects.

The sudden introduction of EBACC exposed schools which were playing league table games with easier subjects, and those that weren't encouraging languages, plus a certain amount of random luck since an 'academic' child might have been doing say Latin and RE rather than French and History as their language and humanity.

I rather doubt that universities will set much store by EBacc if an applicant has good reasons for choosing options which don't include all the prescribed subjects.

titchy Mon 06-Feb-12 11:18:46

Latin is part of the EBacc Grimme - the language doesn't have to be modern. RE doesn't count as the humanity component though which is odd, also English Lit doesn't count as the English bit - has to be Language or the combined one. <shakes head>

titchy Mon 06-Feb-12 11:19:39

Agree though that universities won't be looking at it - except the Language which some prefer now.

senua Mon 06-Feb-12 11:22:58

I know what you are saying Grimma but Latin does count towards the EBacc.

OP If you don't understand then go back and ask and ask until you do! I'm sure the school will not mind an interested parent asking questions. It's not a silly query because a lot of us on here cannot understand the difference between "traditional route" and "EBacc". They sound the same to me.confused

nagynolonger Mon 06-Feb-12 11:25:51

I consider all mine took 'traditional' GCSEs but my year 10 will not get an EBacc. Mr Gove announced it all after he had sent the form in making his subject choices for this year! He is doing

Maths
Stats
Eng Lang
Eng Lit
french
3 x science
PE
ICT Btec (which prob isn't worth 2 now but it wasn't an option they all do it).

Music which I was willing for him to drop for history or geography but he was longing to do.

GCSE PE isn't traditional but everyone had to do that or PE Btec. He would have done it anyway.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 06-Feb-12 11:35:31

My mistake, I thought it had to be an MFL, didn't realise ancient counted.

seeker Mon 06-Feb-12 11:44:09

" It's not a silly query because a lot of us on here cannot understand the difference between "traditional route" and "EBacc". They sound the same to me."

They are the same. The Ebacc is just a collective noun for getting A*-C in 6 specific traditional subjects. it will be a useful shorthand for university admissions tutors, but doesn't mean that if you do 6 other equally hard academic subjects and get a*-c in them that won't be just as good. What it does mean that some schools who have played the league table game in the way that previous administrations told them to are now looking a bit exposed. Which is hugely unfair- but perhaps eye opening to those who didn't understand how these things work.

sue52 Mon 06-Feb-12 11:51:19

Just looked up my daughter's school, the pupils achieved over 90% in the ebacc.
I was surprised to see some very low ebacc scores from both independent and grammar schools. It does make you wonder what they teach.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 06-Feb-12 12:08:05

sue - sometimes it was the lack of a language, but I think a lot got scuppered by the requirement for history or geography. I suspect quite a lot of schools would have assumed RE would suffice as a humanity and as they're supposed to do some RE anyway its compulsory in quite a lot of schools. (And its a bit easier to get top grades in RE than the others)

My DDs school gets 100% '5 good GCSEs' but last year 75% EBacc - given that everyone does an MFL plus the other required subjects, it must have been that ~25% didn't do either history or geography.

sue52 Mon 06-Feb-12 12:10:51

From what you say, it sounds like a flawed way to judge a school's performance.

gelatinous Mon 06-Feb-12 12:21:46

A lot of independent school GCSE results are scuppered if they take iGCSEs some of which don't count towards the stats (including ebacc)

seeker Mon 06-Feb-12 12:23:28

My daughter's school has 99% 5 A*-C with English and Maths, but only 68% Ebacc. And it offers no vocational courses, and no tourism, or sports science GCSEs. However, it is a music specialist school, and the RE department is very well thought of. As is Classical Civilization. And they only do a maximum of 10 GCSEs. So is very easy for girls to get 10 a*s in "hard" subjects but still not get the EBacc.

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