The school my daughter is hoping to join in year 9 is offering the English Bacc. Anyone know much about it/experiences.ta
It was only introduced (retrospectively) last year by Michael Gove, so experience will be limited. Basically it means that the school will require students to take/study for GCSEs in Science, English, Maths, a Humanities subject - which was originally narrowly defined as either History or Geography and a Modern Foreign Language.
It's just a particular selection of GCSEs
Maths, English, Double Science (or triple award), 1 humanity, 1 MFL.
Most students will do most of that anyway, the only reason that many middle to high achieving students didn't get it last year is that in some schools, MFL uptake was very low.
It's not an actual qualification, just as donki says, a selection of GCSEs. I think employers and unis will increasingly be asking for it. Most schools (all?) require students to take the first 3 anyway; anyone thinking of applying to Uni will probably want the academic rigour of at least a humanity; and those of us whose subject is MFL will be hoping it will increase take-up in that area too!
I think it is good that a language is included. It is seen as more difficult to get a decent grade in French or Spanish than in for example drama or a "soft" subject. Therefore students wanting 10 good GCSEs became nervous of buggering up their overall straight A/B performance by risking a languages option.
For students who need to demonstrate academic strength, being encouraged to do a range of challenging subjects in addition to simply aiming for 5A-C grades is a good thing.
Ebacc is UTTERLY MEANINGLESS, has no legal basis and is bound to change next year.
Make sure the school has absorbed this
MUCH more useful
For Michael Gove to criticise the Education policies of the last Government and roll out the Academies programme.
It has no educational meaning at all.
I don't know about the political angle. We've been told it is being introduced for 2 reasons: One to measure schools performance and ensure that schools with high A-C grade pass rates aren't just filling up on less useful or easier to pass subjects. We have schools in our area for example that have over 50% A-C GCSE grades which is good but less than 8% of pupils get the EBacc (ie less than 8% get 5 A-C grades in proper subjects)
And secondly it gives pupils a target of achievement to demonstrate to higher education establishments that they are competent in the traditional subjects and suited to further academic study (if that's what they want to do).
Getting 5 A-C grades is excellent for any pupil but some universities may have a preference for a student who has done hard or academic studies rather than filled up their quota with soft subjects. It wont be something everyone wants to do but for pupils who want to demonstrate academic ability, it is seen as a bonus to have. I guess the danger is though that now schools are judged on it, they will push everyone to do it regardless of whether further academic study is their goal or not.
If it had really been about getting schools to choose options well he would have announced it and then recorded it two years later - when the year 10 options had taken effect.
Instead the Ebacc league tables were released in August 2010 on results taken that June on choices made in 2008
It therefore can only be point scoring and not educational outcomes.
THe Sutton Trust is much more damning in that it shows whole LEAs that do not get shcool career advisers to help their children reach for the top and therefore not a single child into Oxbridge in the last three years - from a whole LEA. And I just do not belive that there are no bright kids in that area.
The point of it is to encourage schools to allow children to do GCSEs rather than BTECs if they are academically able to do so.
Many schools have stopped even offering GCSEs in some of these subjects because BTECs are soooo much easier and allegedly count as 2 GCSEs. They have done the more able children a dis-service because they have a disadvantage when it comes to choosing A levels.
(I believe BTECs are to be excluded from this year's league tables)
sadly Gove will not confirm what the league tables will be based on until AFTER he has the results and can choose his political slant.
He's still sore that the Grammars came out so poorly in the Ebacc last year.
VA will probably go as that tends to rank poor schools higher than rich ones.
Our school struggles with VA, not that it's at all a rich or affluent area but because the feeders are all tiny rural primaries which tend to have small class sizes and do well at KS2.
A very valid point
But from Gove's standpoint, the huge levels of tutoring to get into Grammars push the relevant KS2 up artificially and therefore the VA down.
The main use of VA is (IMHO) to show that even schools with dire exam results can do really well with the cohort they have taken in.
My kids are at a Hampshire comp - and therefore have lots of opportunities.
I hope that moves like the Ebacc - but less politicised - help to get ALL schools to up their game and realise the potential of the kids they have.
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