Education secretary Michael Gove has now twice had his plans for GCSE reform rejected, as he had originally intended for GCSEs to return to the era of CSE’s and O levels.
Gove described the implementation of the Ebacc as, ‘one reform too far’. Students were due to begin studying under the new qualifications in 2015.
The backtrack has been due to concerns raised by MPs, including deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, exam regulator Ofqual, teachers and students. One of the suggested reasons that Gove was prompted to make the decision to abandon the Ebacc was that his intention to have one exam board to act as provider for a particular subject might be in contention with EU regulations. Exam boards too had expressed their concerns with the new measures.
While GCSEs will remain, they will be subject to major reform: Gove is keen to reduce coursework and modules in order to rid students of ‘bite-size learning and spoon feeding’.
When questioned by the MP for Slough, Fiona Mactaggart, about the place of creative subjects as part of the reconstructed National Curriculum, Gove stated that: ‘Artistic and creative subjects are central to a broad education.’
Speaking in the House of Commons, the education secretary said: ‘Let’s work together, as we have so successfully on other issues, to ensure children get the high quality education they deserve.’