Search

English Baccalaureate exam reform dismissed as ‘narrow vision of education’

16:07 04 February 2013

Education secretary Michael Gove announced the government

Education secretary Michael Gove announced the government's English Baccalaureate plans last year. Picture: PA.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Secondary schools across Camden, Haringey and Barnet are resisting government plans for English Baccalaureate exams to replace GCSEs - which a leading teaching union has labelled a “narrow vision of education”.

The Department for Education (DfE) published national A-level and GCSE results for 2012 two weeks ago which included the percentage of pupils at each school reaching the government’s proposed English Baccalaureate (EBacc) benchmark.

The DfE plans to introduce the EBacc exam as a replacement for GCSEs from 2017 but last month’s results show very few schools have embraced the plans.

In Camden, only 18 per cent of pupils achieved grades A* to C in English, mathematics, two sciences, a foreign language and history or geography at GCSE last year – the combination of subjects needed to achieve the EBacc.

Andrew Baisley, Camden NUT’s branch secretary, said: “I think a lot of schools haven’t bought into it because it’s such a narrow vision of education. Art subjects aren’t recognised by EBacc.

“Take a school like Acland Burghley which has a really superb arts department but that isn’t recognised by the EBacc.

“I think the arts are very important and I’m sure a lot of Camden parents think the arts are important. I know that the headteachers of Camden are strongly opposed.”

In Haringey 15 per cent of pupils met the EBacc requirements in 2012.

Julie Davies, NUT branch secretary, said: “A good school will ignore the EBacc and try to produce a varied and challenging curriculum that meets the needs of pupils. Schools are very unhappy about the dictatorial way in which Michael Gove is acting.”

In Barnet, Henrietta Barnett School, in Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb, bucked the trend with 89 per cent of pupils achieving the EBacc requirements last year.

But independent King Alfred School, in North End Road, Golders Green, saw 55 per cent of pupils meet the indicator.

Rod Jackson, deputy headteacher, said: “Our view is that while we are perfectly happy to support Michael Gove’s aim for education at GCSE level to be rigorous and meaningful, EBacc is the wrong way to achieve this aim.

“The best way to achieve this aim is to create a curriculum which is broad and deep, and not narrow.”

A DfE spokeswoman said: “We have been clear that the secondary education system is in desperate need of a thorough overhaul.

“That is why we are making major changes to ensure we have a world class education that raises standards. The vast majority of schools are now offering the English Baccalaureate, which recognises those subjects employers and universities value most.”

Haverstock School, in Haverstock Hill, Chalk Farm, will hold a consultation meeting for Camden parents about the EBacc on Monday, March 4.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Friday, August 26, 2016
Yasmin Farah

Police are appealing for the public’s help to find two sixteen-year-old girls who have gone missing from Camden.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Mary Langan with her 23-year-old son, James

Carers of adults with demential and disabilities are demanding change after a report revealed there is a “breakdown of trust” on the Haringey boards designed to represent them.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Nina Martynchyk with her foster mother, Nina B

A young woman who overcame anorexia is organising a conference with the Royal Free Hospital to draw attention to how the condition affects children and teenagers

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Highgate School

Students and staff at Highgate school were reflecting on a very impressive set of GCSE results today, with 88.2 percent of exams receiving a grade of A* or A.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Hampstead School is in Westbere Road (Pic credit: Google streetview)

The Hampstead School has once again seen its GCSE results improve today, with nearly a quarter of all grades receiving an A* or A grade.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Hornsey School for Girls

Girls at Hornsey School for Girls were today collecting some stellar GCSE results.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Sam White has praised William Ellis pupils

The headteacher of William Ellis school, Sam White, was full of praise for his students today after a promising set of GCSE results.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
UCS school

University College School was today celebrating the second best set of GCSE results in its history, with a remarkable 88.6 percent of exams achieving either an A* or A grade.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The showroom is located in Hayes

After 25 years as a trade-only business, family-run door manufacturers Composite Door Master are set to open their first public showroom in Hayes this weekend.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now