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Goodbye EBacc - even your own creator doesn't like you :: Asperger Home Education

 

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 Post subject: Goodbye EBacc - even your own creator doesn't like you
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:43 am 
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There are some real ill-fated ideas in this world and the latest one to add to the list is the English Baccalaureate, better known as the EBacc.

In September 2012 Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, announced that from 2015 the EBacc would replace GCSEs in English, mathematics, science, history or geography, and a foreign language in state schools as a combined qualification similar to the American High School Diploma, with the first exams taking place in 2017. The intention of the EBacc was to increase academic rigour in state schools by focusing on traditional 'hard' subjects in a climate where the proportion of students, especially from poorer backrounds, choosing to take 'soft' GCSEs instead to boost their grades and school league tables is rising. Independent schools would be free to choose whether to offer the EBacc or IGCSE qualifications to its students.

Just five months later on the 7th February he made a surprise statement in the House of Commons that he is abandoning the EBacc, telling MPs that his proposals were "a bridge too far". This u-turn represents a humiliating defeat for a minister who was seen by many in his party as a potential replacement for David Cameron.

There has been much criticism of the EBacc from all quarters. Most notably by the that it is heavily academic and does not include any creative subjects.

Michael Gove will press ahead with moves to reduce amount of coursework in GCSEs and insist that the future syllabi will be measured against international benchmarks to ensure academic standards are maintained. Exams will be taken at the end of the course rather than in modules.

Asperger Home Education has been opposed to the EBacc on the grounds that children with AS could lose out due to uneven profiles in subjects which is a common feature of the condition. For example, some children excel in mathematics or science but they struggle with English literature or foreign languages. GCSEs are far from perfect but we strongly uphold the principle of a 'component' qualification system where individual subjects can be taken piecemeal rather than all in one sitting, each with a separate grade.

What we find difficult to understand is why Michael Gove has not yet considered replacing GCSEs in 'hard' subjects by IGCSEs if his main objectives are to raise academic standards and reduce the amount of coursework. IGCSEs are all examination GCSEs with no coursework which are generally regarded as being more academically rigorous than GCSEs. They are taken by students in many foreign countries and in some independent schools in Britain. Is there a good reason to reinvent the wheel when a potentially suitable qualification already exists?


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