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Can the school force DD to take EBacc subjects?

(13 Posts)
mummaonthaedge Sat 01-Mar-14 11:01:27

DD is choosing her 'options' for gcse. The school have insisted that, amongst her choices MUST be one from the EBacc list (French, German, history, geography, computer science) and they will not accept her options form without it!
She does not want to do any if these subjects and will have to remove and replace a subject off her form that she DOES want to do.
The school initially said this was a government requirement until I argued that it isn't, the EBacc is a performance measure for schools. They now say it is a school 'requirement' and are not accepting her options form as it is.
I argued that it is wrong for the school to force students to pick subjects which will ensure that the school does well in this new performance measure.
What I would like to know is, can they enforce this? What right do they have, what rights does DD have? Or myself?
The school is an academy if that makes any difference ��

TeenAndTween Sat 01-Mar-14 11:07:03


I didn't think computer science was in the ebacc list? (Unless there is a new list to cover the 8 good passes thing??)

If she only has to do 1 out of the other 4 she still won't meet the ebacc requirements as she will need one language and one humanity, so I don't see how it will help the performance measures?

otoh, if she isn't doing any of your first 4, what is she doing? She might be narrowing her choices too much and making them too 'unacademic'.

They can enforce it by timetabling I would think.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 01-Mar-14 11:11:29

Computer Science counts as a Science for the EBacc. This will be for progress 8, the new school performance measure. I'd be astonished if most schools weren't directing options to maximise progress 8 wherever possible. What is it that she wants to do instead?

LaVolcan Sat 01-Mar-14 11:39:37

Choosing options has always presented thorny problems: the school will no doubt plead timetabling constraints force certain choices.

lljkk Sat 01-Mar-14 12:52:29

Our school has same policy, OP. DS is taking compSci on that list, too.

I don't think they can truly force her, but I think they could be very unpleasant if you insist on other choices. What does she want to take instead?

HmmAnOxfordComma Sat 01-Mar-14 14:00:00

Most schools will allow less weak linguists to drop a language; some will allow dc to do RS instead of Hist or Geog, but average to above average children should be doing one humanity and one language and at least two sciences.

The ebacc is a measure of schools and not a qualification for your dd but was brought in to stop students who could cope with academic subjects being allowed to drop them. A range is necessary to keep options open later.

Most schools work their timetables around blocks like humanities, languages, tech, art subjects. It's rarely possible to have a completely open choice.

What subjects does dd want to do, what does she want to do post 16 and what sort of level is she working at.?

HmmAnOxfordComma Sat 01-Mar-14 14:00:26

I mean weak linguists, obviously.

titchy Sat 01-Mar-14 14:36:02

Yes of course they can force him - if only by virtue of him having to do whatever is in those timetabling slots, and obviously not giving him the option of doing two subjects in the same timetable block.

LIZS Sat 01-Mar-14 14:37:36

what does she want to do if none of these? It could also be a timetabling issue .

Nocomet Sat 01-Mar-14 14:38:37

Like most things concerned with Ofsted and league tables it's a reasonable idea - badly thought out.

It's all very well Gove et. al. wanting to encourage pupils to take a wide and useful range of academic GCSE and encourage MFL uptake.

But, as always they failed to think it through properly
They failed to accept that MFL teaching in a lot of schools isn't very good. Good MFL teachers are very difficult to get and even harder to keep.

Like wise good ICT staff (and the exam syllabus is an ever changing muddle)

Music and RE are hugely miffed at being left out and DCs who want to do art and drama are left fumming.

Fortunately, because she's dyslexic (and their Y9 lessons were a near riot) DD1 was allowed to drop French and does no art and drama.

AuntieStella Sat 01-Mar-14 14:40:54

Well, if they are insisting on only one from that list, then there is a great deal of potential for pupils not getting the range of grades for EBACC (for yo need MFL AND humanity, not MFL or humanity).

But yes, schools can restrict options in any way they want (unfortunately).

crazymum53 Sat 01-Mar-14 14:46:06

Yes we have a similar list dd must choose at least one of the following subjects: French, German, History, Geography, Triple Science or Computer Science. It is expected that students who will obtain 5 A*-C GCSEs will be capable of taking these subjects. There is only an alternative for level 1 students who are not expected to obtain 5 GCSEs at grade C or above.
Double Science is now compulsory (this is a change for this year as it used to be OK to take single Science).as is English Language and Literature and Maths.

purpleroses Sat 01-Mar-14 19:24:06

The bottom line is that the school can if it wants refuse to let her do the options she wants and put her in the classes for the Ebac subjects, but they can't make her do any work or even actually turn up for the exam.
So if she really doesn't want to do them it might be worth a bit more pressure as to how much she hates those subjects, won't work at them and won't get a C grade (if she doesn't get a C, then she won't help their Ebac statistics).

My DS's school "expects" the top set (set 1 out of 3) to do a language and also either history or geography. DS reluctantly agreed, but has since found out that quite a few of his friends - also in Set 1 have said they're not going on with French or not doing either history or geography.

The list you've been given is odd - she's bound to be doing at least one science anyway, unless she's been put in a very un-academic stream, so computer science is of no further use for the Ebac. She'd need a language and also either history or geography. If she's really not keen and would be forgoing other subjects she's really keen on then I'd kick up a bit of a fuss. I don't think most teachers really want kids in their classes who don't want to be there.

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