countingclouds we chose Edexcel for our subject when syllabuses changed about ten years ago (and again four years ago) because the course was a)the most interesting to teach b)most relevant for our student demographic c)supported by teacher and student resources, and teacher training.
To get an A* in my subject with this exam board a pupil has to average over 90% across three disciplines. Certainly not easy.
Previously, I taught SEG which became AQA and changed to Edexcel because the renewed AQA syllabus was quite dull and inappropriate for our pupils.
There has been no u-turn on the EBacc, the thing which opponents claim will limit choices for pupils. That remains in place unchanged and is now joined by a new performance measure for GCSEs showing the proportion of students gaining the EBacc plus three other GCSEs.
All that has happened is that the exams for the EBacc subjects are not being renamed as EBCs and there will not be a single exam board per subject. The associated changes are all still in place. So there will be new GCSEs in English, Maths, the sciences, history and geography. These will be linear (i.e. a 2 year course with exams at the end) rather than taken in stages. Coursework will be kept to a minimum. The "foundation paper" taken by some pupils where the maximum grade is C will be scrapped. English and history will test "extended writing" and there will be fewer bite sized questions.
English already tests extended writing (2 questions) and the responses to reading, (on the Higher paper) if candidates are to do themselves justice require answers of at minimum 1 side each. So any claims that English does not require extended answers in both reading and writing are somewhat wide of the mark.
In terms of the new GCSEs that were going to be EBCs being linear can anyone tell me how that differs from the current new spec GCSEs that will be taken by current year 8s and 9s - they're linear too aren't they?