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EBacc - MFL still required?

(13 Posts)
goingmadinthecountry Thu 16-Mar-17 21:22:33

People are saying it's no longer required?? Still required GCSE at dd's school. Do your dcs need to do MFL? Do you think it's a good idea? Thanks for any replies.

noblegiraffe Thu 16-Mar-17 21:28:24

You still need an MFL to get the Ebacc, however the Ebacc is fairly meaningless for the student, it is a performance measure for the school. So long as your DC do a range of academic subjects that should be fine for the future.

The government did say they wanted 90% of all students to study the Ebacc range of subjects by 2020 but it's looking like they'll have to water this commitment down as there aren't enough MFL teachers to fulfil it.

goingmadinthecountry Thu 16-Mar-17 21:40:38

So do RG universities care? Dd3 is at a grammar and it's a required subject at GCSE. Other local grammar is allowing students to drop mfl after Y8. Dumbing down?

noblegiraffe Thu 16-Mar-17 21:45:45

You get a load of parents kicking off if you make their kid take MFL to GCSE - I've seen it a lot on MN (never used French, they hate languages and would get better results in a different subject etc). Also, there is a shortage of teachers although I'd have thought that wouldn't affect a grammar.

RG unis don't care. There is one uni as far as I know who have a language preference, UCL www.ucl.ac.uk/clie/CourseUnits/Pre-course/MFLrequirement but if you don't have it you can take a course to make up for it.

noblegiraffe Thu 16-Mar-17 21:49:22

If you look at Ebacc for this league table of top state schools you'll see that very few actually have 100% for Ebacc, so even if some schools say MFL is required, it doesn't look like many schools actually stick to the Ebacc rigorously (although possible that some schools allow RE instead of History or Geography which doesn't count in the Ebacc).

www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/01/19/gcse-results-2016-top-100-secondary-schools/

Heifer Fri 17-Mar-17 18:02:13

DDs school is apparently "requesting" that the top 2 sets take Ebacc subjects but bottom 2 sets don't have to - DD is in Yr 8 so I assume I will hear more about this next year.

It won't make a difference to DD really. They will be taking 9 GCSE with an option for a 10th taken fast track in their own time. She would have taken Spanish anyway as she really enjoys it and we would have tried to persuade her as neither her Dad or I can speak another language (I took French at CSE and DH dropped languages even earlier) and we think it's useful. She may take it as a 10th fast track subject but she hasn't decided yet (no rush).

Lucycat Fri 17-Mar-17 19:41:42

We have been fighting this EBacc battle with dd's school- she doesn't want to do French but history and geography instead. We've had emails with the school, had meetings with a deputy head but still no luck- the ironic thing is that she HAS to do GCSE PE as they used to be a sports college!

Needless to say at my high school where I teach they don't have to do it and no RG university requires it. News is that Justine Greening wants to get rid of it 😏

senua Sat 18-Mar-17 08:44:46

For some reason MN gets sniffy about the EBacc. I like it: it's just a way of saying "it would be an idea to take this wide selection of subjects, if you can. Get a rounded education". There are different talents required to get qualifications in English, Maths, Science, Humanities and Languages so getting the EBacc shows that you can master all those skills.
Considering how often pupils choose the wrong A Levels and then the parents wail "no one told me!" you would think that MN would approve of some guidance about the ideal mix of GCSEs (MN are very hot on Informed Choices for A Level), but apparently not.

In an ideal world, everyone would get the EBacc but the world is not ideal. Some aren't up to the challenge. Some schools try to force it on pupils who don't want it. I think the definition of Humanities could be widened.
I would (and did) encourage my DC to get it. Actually, I don't think the EBacc had been invented when DD took her GCSEs but the idea of a 'rounded education' certainly had been.grin

goingmadinthecountry Mon 20-Mar-17 00:41:17

Thanks all - MFL seems to be an area that is disappearing pretty fast. Dd will take French-I'm a great believer in covering a wide range of topics for as long as possible. Sad that we're dumbing down yet againn

ErrolTheDragon Mon 20-Mar-17 01:00:11

There can be a problem if a school insists on EBacc (and usually eng lit as well as lang is required for higher sets) , and is also limiting the number of gcses and/or also insists on a non-Ebacc subject such as RE or PE. It can squeeze out options for Art/music/drama , tech subjects or computer science. These also add different skills and may be more appropriate for many students' interests and talents.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 20-Mar-17 01:15:35

Sad that we're dumbing down yet againn

That may not be entirely fair - the reason why many schools are cutting the number of gcses is because they've been made harder.

highinthesky Mon 20-Mar-17 01:21:38

I thought the EBacc had been superseded by Attainment Eight?

www.raiseonline.org/OpenDocument.aspx?document=392

Bensyster Mon 20-Mar-17 07:52:01

I have no issue with the aim of a well rounded education but to force dcs to study a language to GCSE when they really hate learning languages is not an approach I would support. My dcs have both chosen subjects which qualify them to have the "Ebacc" by accident, I encouraged them to chose subjects they enjoyed.

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