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Gove to announce scrapping of GCSEs

(592 Posts)
Itchyandscratchy Sun 16-Sep-12 10:02:48

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.

alcofrolic Sun 16-Sep-12 22:08:52

We looked into the IB at our primary. I'm afraid the training in Turkey and Bern was beyond our rapidly decreasing budget!

amicissimma Sun 16-Sep-12 22:12:05

I don't understand the need for 'grades' whose boundaries seem to move about more than the 'Strictly' dancers. Why not simply award the percentage marks? Unis and employers will soon get the hang of the implications.

Then the challenge will be to keep the level of the questions similar year on year, but at least it's only one issue.

I think for much less academic pupils a really good grounding in maths, english and IT, possibly a bit of finance, with a certificate of achievement, would be more useful than low grades in a whole range of less relevant subjects.

I'm not convinced of the usefulness of modular exams, apart from making it easier for pupils who suit them to get higher grades. It's rare in adult life that you need to learn a skill or information for a few weeks, then test it and never use it again. (Not unheard of, before there's a bombardment of examples, but comparitively rare.)

The problem is that our children are getting higher and higher grades but educational standards are getting lower and lower compared to international standards. Our children will be competing against people educated elsewhere, so we need to keep the standard up.

From the 'fair' POV, it's no less fair to be subjected to tougher marking in 2012 than it was to be subjected to tougher marking in 2002. If they look at GCSEs, employers and colleges will have to take the year into account.

meditrina Sun 16-Sep-12 22:13:26

Sorry, no I meant IB at A level. They do IGCSEs (I think) at 16.

Narked Sun 16-Sep-12 22:18:48

Let me guess. They're going to introduce something to stretch the more academically able, whilst making sure that all children can show they have a solid grounding in core subjects. And introducing courses for those children who are interested in more practical subjects, to give them the skills they need to compete the modern economy.

That's O-Levels, CSEs and Technical Colleges back then.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 16-Sep-12 22:23:25

Modular GCSEs are out. This is not a move to replace modular GCSEs.

<deja vu>

cinnamonnut Sun 16-Sep-12 22:31:30

It's a good idea.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 16-Sep-12 22:43:12

Narked. I don't think that would be a bad idea. I would hate to be young now and know there was not only no chance of gaining a GCSE grade C in Maths but leave with nothing in the subject. Well, that was recognised anyway. At least my CSE was accepted by employers way back then.

bochead Sun 16-Sep-12 23:05:21

In this context, I'm not sure that the 18+ exam of A-levels is particularly relevant. St Pauls & other public schools are not subjected to the same mangerial interference & micromanagement of the curriculum from politicians that state schools are for children up to 16. Unlike state schools they aren't required to adhere to every silly diktat on the NC that whitehall imposes on the state sector for KS3 & 4.

They also have a VERY restricted ability intake and cannot be considered representative of the population as a whole at all. There is an interesting thread at the mo, on special needs, concerning the options available to a child on the ASD spectrum with an IQ of 200. State schools need to cater for everyone, not just the select few if we are to compete in a global economy as a country. For the last decade or so we've increasing been importing the key skills our country needs instead of training our own population. This situation is not sustainable long term.

The IB middle school curriculum (to age 16)at least promises to remain fairly stable, with no goal post moving for the length of time it will take a child to get through the course. Teachers and children can therefore get on with the often tricky business of learning. My son's SN's give him enough barriers to learning without being used as a political guinea pig by some arrogant misguided social engineer at Westminster.

I don't think the IB curriculum is a silver bullet by any stretch of the imagination, especially for SN kids like my own. One of my key concerns is that politicians look for a silver bullet, majic formula etc when actually learning & education is and always has been a cumulative, long term, effort inducing activity. Education is about children, with all their wonderful quirks, & foibles not soundbites or quick fixes.

I just think that at this point in time the IB middle school curriculum looks better than the mess Gove is busy creating, given that our kids will be competing for jobs with everyone from the Poles to Singaporeans. The lesser of the evils currently available to a family with the limited opportunities we have. What I want is a decent sustainable roadmap for learning for all 11-16 year olds.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 16-Sep-12 23:09:13

But NOT all children CAN show useful grounding in the core subjects. My DD will make an excellent Chocolatier, but asking her to dissect a book an examine motives behind it? NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. Mostly because of her particular combination of SN's, she doesn't fully grasp the emotions of the writer, or philosophical writings. Unless it is factual, like a recipe, she frankly doesn't give a shit that she doesn't understand.

The only thing my DD reads for amusement is the Argos catalogue and Recipe books. And maybe a poster book of Dustbin Beaver.

ALL she wants to be able to do us train in Catering, then in Patisserie work, then get an Apprenticeship with a Chocolatier. She would find it so much easier to be able to start at a Technical College now, at 14yo, and start on the road to where she wants to be.

But right now, while we are hearing plenty about what is going to be done for those who will be in the top 25%, and sitting a modern form of O-Level, there is NOTHING being said about provision for those more suited to a CSE style qualification, or a Vocational qualification.

Right now, my DD is facing the very real possibility of being unable to even get INTO Catering college, because she is in the first cohort sitting linear exams, which is pulling her down to 'U's' only.

Due to her SN's, she cannot retain facts for long periods of time - only things that she has physical, practical experience of. so a final exam that will be 3hrs45mins log due to her extra 25% time, will just be unmanageable. She will go into meltdown due to being overwhelmed after 2hrs max (generous estimate tbh), and not complete the exam.

Thus meaning that there is now an almost certainty that she won't reach the C/C/D she needs to get into the Catering course. Which has been confirmed to me by Student Support there that they won't be changing that offer for her year group, only for the year below, as they want the first year to 'see how the change pans out'.

Which is just fucking wonderful.

So if any of you that support Gove's idea to righteously fuck up the entire life of those DC's currently in Y10, who have SN's, and now have their future aspirations shut off to them, shame on you!

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 16-Sep-12 23:14:52

No, modular GCSE's are gone. To the dismay of parents of SN DC's currently just starting Y10, who have had all their SEN help geared towards helping them pass modular exams for the last 3 years, not Cunting linear.

My DD, and the thousands of others like her now in Y10, are the forgotten casualties of Gove's thwarting around with the education system.

And it won't just affect my DD's life - it will affect my life and the lives of her siblings too. Because she will not be able to follow the path she has been treading for the last 10 years of her education, with every forward step fought ten times harder than the average pupil due to her SN's.

These changes might be excellent news for the top 25%, like my DS1, but for my DD, and probably my DS2 (also has SN's), it is fucking devastating.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 16-Sep-12 23:15:58

<<Huff>> Bloody Autocorrect. Thwarting = twatting.

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Sun 16-Sep-12 23:16:38

Oh Lord! Dd2 is in Year 7. I don't want her time at school shrouded in uncertainty and topped off with being a guinea pig. Remind me again - did they mention Gove's brilliant plans in the election?

ravenAK Sun 16-Sep-12 23:17:55

Good post CouthyMow.

I taught a couple of students last year who had similar issues to your dd. One of them is indeed unable to get on to the college course which he was desperate to study, because a C in English Language was always going to be hugely difficult for him - he worked his arse off, he should have got it, & then they moved the boundaries.

He's no less capable of managing the course he had a conditional offer for, than he was back in June when he was confidently predicted a hard won C. Then the boundary shift meant he was one mark off. But college's response is 'sorry, he'll have to do something else'.

Disgusted by dc being used as guinea pigs in this way.

bochead Sun 16-Sep-12 23:18:32

And here's the kicker for all those DM supporters - thousands upon thousands of kids like CouthyMow's will now be assigned to life on the dole, when they could have been tax paying productive citizens. This really annoys me.

The UK isn't rich enough to just write off 25-50% of every generation. We need as many hands at the pump of economic growth as possible to support our debts and aging population.

Daily Mail readers all assume that their offspring will be in the top tier, statistics should tell them they won't lol! I do want to know what's planned for the 75% of children who don't meet the criteria to be in a traditional O level cohort. It's this 3 out if 4 of all our young people we need Gove to focus on for all our sakes.

seeker Sun 16-Sep-12 23:24:57

And for those of us in grammar school areas, guess which schools will be doing the higher tier exams and which the lower.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 16-Sep-12 23:34:36

Michael Gove has I think said that the new qualification will be for 75% of students.

So perhaps he is acknowledging that standards have risen since 25% of students did O levels back in the day...

morethanpotatoprints Sun 16-Sep-12 23:41:00


I just wanted to ask if the course your dd wants to do is a level 3 course and if a level one or 2 are offered. I ask as catering was alongside the subjects I taught at college and several of my students and those in catering had no GCSE's they just had to start at lower level and do Maths/Eng key skills. It may be worth speaking to them again. My apologies if you have already exhausted this avenue.

claig Sun 16-Sep-12 23:44:45

In the days of O levels, children who didn't pass or who did CSEs, still got jobs.

I heard Estelle Morris a few months back saying something like she might support Gove's changes to GCSEs if they led to an exam at 14 instead of 16, given that children have to stay at school till 18.

We don't yet know what 'Gove-levels' will look like. We do know they will be more rigorous and there will be fewer A* grades.

It wouldn't surprise me if Labour don't oppose the changes too much. They have probably all agreed on the way forward.

claig Sun 16-Sep-12 23:47:07

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 16-Sep-12 23:48:44

Finances don't allow for her to do the level 2 course first, and seeing as everything in the level two course will have been covered in her catering GCSE (probably the only one she'll scrape a C/D in now), it is a bit pointless.

Finances will just about stretch to 4 years in college. Then DS1 will be starting college for his A-Levels (no 6th forms), I can't fund two at once when I'm disabled.

<<Long explanation about benefit deductions for DC's not in work or claiming JSA after 19yo and no EMA...>>

TheFallenMadonna Sun 16-Sep-12 23:49:07

Ah yes. Rigorous again...!

claig Sun 16-Sep-12 23:52:26

Rigorous is a Tory leitmotif, it represents traditional standards and contrasts with progressive.

claig Sun 16-Sep-12 23:54:55

The bigger the rigour, the more the Daily Mail reader supports the policy. Gove is being mentioned as a possible Tory leader and the Daily Mail seems to like the cut of his jib.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 16-Sep-12 23:59:02

Contrasts with progressive.

Thank you. That makes it much clearer.


ravenAK Mon 17-Sep-12 00:01:15

No, it doesn't Claig.

It's a buzzword which actually signifies nothing, but makes DM readers think they've grasped the issue.

Rigorous just means 'extremely thorough, exhaustive, or accurate'.

So my O Levels rigorously tested my short term memory & ability to bullshit under pressure, for example. I did very well.

'Traditional standards' is another example.

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