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'Contradiction at heart' of GCSE changes
12:40pm Monday 24th September 2012 in News
TRADE union officals have reacted to the decison to scrap GCSEs in favour of a new qualification.
In a huge shake-up of the exam system, they will be replaced by the English Baccalaureate Certificate.
The change will be enforced by 2017, after Michael Gove, education secretary, said that GCSEs were now out of date with the new exams providing a ‘truly rigorous’ test.
Elizabeth Purnell is Warrington secretary for the NUT.
She said: “There is certainly a need for a serious debate on the examination system, particularly in light of the school leaving age rising to 18.
“The premise for the Government’s changes, however, appears to be based on the rather spurious reason that too many pupils are succeeding.
“There is an inherent contradiction at the heart of Michael Gove’s criticism of GCSEs.
“On one hand the education secretary demands ever higher pass rates, yet when this is achieved, claims that it can only have occurred due to examinations becoming too easy. This is a nonsensical approach.
“Parents and carers know how hard their children work for GCSEs and how rigorous the exams are.
“Ministers need to recognise that it is through sheer hard work and determination that pupils and teachers are achieving great results.
“What is being proposed here is blatantly a two-tier system.
“Pupils who do not gain EBacc Certificates will receive a record of achievement which will most certainly be seen to be of far less worth by employers and colleges.”