Falmouth headteacher welcomes GCSE U-turn
9:00am Thursday 21st February 2013 in Falmouth/Penryn
The Education Secretary’s U-turn over his plans to replace GCSEs with a new English Baccalaureate has been welcomed in Falmouth.
Last week Michael Gove made the shock announcement that he is abandoning plans to introduce the new qualification in 2015 and instead, GCSEs will remain, but will be reformed.
Sandra Critchley, head at Falmouth School, said: “I am really pleased that the government have decided not to introduce a two-tier examination system. Running two different types of certificates alongside each other (EBaccs and GCSEs) would have been confusing and would possibly devalue some subjects.
“Having all subjects accredited by the same qualification avoids confusion and misunderstanding for those outside of the examination system.
“With regards to dropping the idea of having one examination board only for each subject, I am surprised that the impact of EU procurement was not considered earlier as the DFE financial advice to schools reminds us of our duty to consider these regulations for large contracts.
“While I am delighted that Michael Gove had the courage to make a U-turn on his earlier pronouncements, this situation does highlight the need to consult within the education service at an early stage in the process of planning changes at a national level.”
The government’s decision has also been welcomed by Falmouth University as it is considered the introduction of the English Baccalaureate would have side-lined art subjects.
Professor Anne Carlisle, vice-chancellor at Falmouth University, said: “We welcome the decision to keep the creative arts central to education by scrapping plans for the EBacc. It is great to see the government has listened to the strong opposition from us in the creative arts community, teachers, parents and pupils.
“We are proud to be a specialist university in the creative arts based in Cornwall, one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the UK and wider global economy, and any suggestion of side-lining subjects such as art could have caused damage to the cultural and economic health of a whole generation.”