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Compulsory Ebacc for all

(42 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sun 10-May-15 11:33:15

Given a conservative majority we can now expect them to implement their manifesto promises on education, one of which was making the Ebacc compulsory for all students.

My school currently removes low attaining students from languages to give them catch-up classes in maths and English. Not sure what we will do if this comes in. Presumably they will get a crap grade in languages and a worse grade than they would have in maths and English. Great.

fourcorneredcircle Sun 10-May-15 11:48:46

Im seriously worried. Not all students excell in languages. I'm realy lucky that most of my KS3 students make expected progress but that has been a hard fought battle - the jump from KS3 to KS4 is in fact a leap and one that the weakest of students won't make. We don't disapply anyone at KS3 and we allow all those that want to take languages to do so - but the only reason that works and that some (a very few) of them do make the leap across the D/C borderline is because of the small class sizes and not a small amount of extra input on our part.

I will have to hire a few more teachers to my department... Not sure where that money is coming from...

TalkinPeace Sun 10-May-15 12:36:23

the manifesto was a coalition bargaining document
expect most of it to end up in the bin

noblegiraffe Sun 10-May-15 12:42:01

I don't know, Talkin, compulsory Ebacc for all sounds exactly like something the Tories would want regardless of who they were in bed with. It fits with their 'driving up standards' agenda.

TalkinPeace Sun 10-May-15 13:08:49

noble
but you and I - and everybody who has ever darkened the door of a comprehensive school - know that its bollocks
so it will be quietly dropped

especially as Farage is not in the house to rant about a secondary Modern in every town grin

noblegiraffe Sun 10-May-15 14:05:41

There are plenty of things that are bollocks that the Tories have pushed through regardless (decoupling A and AS levels for example) so I don't trust them to drop an idea simply because it's shit.

TalkinPeace Sun 10-May-15 14:08:09

True
Oh yes, I forgot about the AS .... if the Tories had not won outright that was likely to get shelved
lets see if Nicky Morgan DOES want to work with educators and listens to the Universities ....

whathaveiforgottentoday Sun 10-May-15 15:09:06

I'm worried about provision for the lower ability. There are students who the Ebacc is just never going to be achievable regardless of how hard they work and the quality of teaching. We are dropping our BTEC in science which we used to use the low abiity/hard working group as it won't count. I'm all for having high expectations, but a pupil still working at 2a/3c level in year 8 just isn't going to get much out of GCSE.

NonDom Sun 10-May-15 15:24:18

I don't think the government every said that Ebacc subjects should be compulsory, but that school league tables should report on Ebacc subjects.

I think that Ebacc subjects are good for the vast majority of students, and schools have done a disservice to them by discouraging MFL, and allowing students to do ICT qualifications "worth" 4 GCSEs.

When I did my exams in the early 80s, we had to choose a MFL and a humanity, along with English, Maths and Science. It the age old "broad and balanced curriculum".

TalkinPeace Sun 10-May-15 15:27:51

Ding.
Lightbulb moment.

Most politicians and civil servants went to selective schools of one sort or another.
They genuinely cannot comprehend that lower ability kids are lower ability because of their neurology, not because of bad teaching.

I see posters saying that they know nobody on benefits its because they see straight through the chap shovelling dirt on the motorway roadworks who is incredibly proud of his BTECS and C&G exams

So until politicians and civil servants are forced to sit for a week with set 5 in a suburban comp they will keep making ridiculous demands on teachers and kids.

That might be something for the unions to take up : not to get the ministers visiting the schools, but to get their SPADs to sit and work with the raw material for a week.

noblegiraffe Sun 10-May-15 15:31:33

Ebacc is already reported in the league tables and has been for years.

The promise is Ebacc compulsory for all.

When you did your exams in the early 80s there was no inclusion and no league tables. A very different educational landscape to today.

noblegiraffe Sun 10-May-15 15:42:06

I agree that politicians live in a bubble where they were in high sets at school or in a private school and so had no exposure to the less able. They don't understand that some people's brains simply work differently to theirs, and it's not just about lack of effort, or poor teaching.

TalkinPeace Sun 10-May-15 15:47:15

TBH I did not realise it till I was 22 : and got my first job after Uni.
I'd lived in a bubble of bright, articulate, well travelled families who all had two houses.
I then temped in a builder's merchant and got the shock of my life to meet YTS trainees and people on the YOP scheme.

Its one of the reasons I'm so glad my kids have gone to a comp.
Now in 6th DD does not socialise with the non academic (apart from a lad who is always known as BTEC Bob even by himself)
and most of her friends are pretty well heeled
but she has a good understanding of the full range of abilities and backgrounds.

The policy makers do not understand those on whom the policy will impact.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 10-May-15 15:47:42

I teach at a grammar school. The year the Ebacc was introduced our best student didn't get it. His 13 A* didn't include a humanity but did include Latin and Greek (two subjects Gove approves of). It's an odd measure which ignores RS and the Arts.

NonDom Sun 10-May-15 15:54:02

It is weird not to include RS as a humanity.

prh47bridge Sun 10-May-15 23:22:30

one of which was making the Ebacc compulsory for all students

Perhaps you could identify on which page of the Conservative manifesto it says they are going to make the Ebacc compulsory. To help you, the manifesto can be found here. Here's a clue. It doesn't mention the Ebacc at all. So no need to quietly drop the policy. There is nothing to drop.

prh47bridge Sun 10-May-15 23:29:03

Apologies - I see they have said something without using the term Ebacc.

The actual commitment seems unclear to me. They say they will require students to take GCSEs in English, maths, science, a language and history or geography but immediately say that schools that don't offer these core subjects will not be able to get Ofsted's highest ratings. That kind of implies that it isn't really compulsory.

noblegiraffe Sun 10-May-15 23:40:51

Not being able to get Ofsted's highest ratings is the stick which will ensure that schools do force all kids to take the EBacc. What do they mean by highest ratings? There are only 4, so the highest ratings must be outstanding and good. They are saying that a school that doesn't make all kids take the Ebacc can at most be 'requires improvement'. That's a pretty big threat that a head can't afford to ignore.

AtiaoftheJulii Sun 10-May-15 23:43:50

My eldest's grammar school don't insist on the EBacc - a humanity GCSE is compulsory, but they offer RS as an option, so a fair proportion of the kids there don't tick off the EBacc (my eldest for a start!). Stupid idea to make it compulsory sad

AtomicDog Sun 10-May-15 23:50:49

Schools that don't enter children for beach subjects are going to be fairly well hammered under the new progress 8 measures, where children will have 3 of their 8 slots getting zero.
If a school's progress 8 measure is <-0.5, OFSTED can be called in, and the school likely to be judged it needs to improve.

noblegiraffe Mon 11-May-15 00:03:34

With progress 8 you could fill your 3 Ebacc slots with French, German and Science and be fine, but be slated on your Ebacc measure because the student hasn't done a humanities, therefore doesn't qualify.

AtomicDog Mon 11-May-15 00:09:10

True, but anyone doing BTEC science loses one or two slots (depending on their options). Plus people doing BTEC science are less likely to be doing a GCSE language.

It's ridiculous that RE doesn't count. Studying RE is compulsory (though not sitting an exam) so why wouldn't it count?

noblegiraffe Mon 11-May-15 00:14:28

Will anyone be doing BTEC Science anymore? I've heard at least a couple of schools will be binning it.

AtomicDog Mon 11-May-15 00:15:38

Well, the BTEC science is still on the approved courses list, so I assume some people are doing it still.

AtomicDog Mon 11-May-15 00:17:12

Should have said, the secondaries I've been speaking to have said they're not making pupils do History or Geography compulsorarily (if that's a word!) still letting pupils have free choice where it can be accommodated. How long do we think that will last?

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