Michael Gove doesn't want to bring back O-levels
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Friday 24 August 2012
Education Secretary Michael Gove last night rowed back from plans to bring back O-levels to replace GCSEs.
Speaking to BBC News, he insisted his aim was to strengthen and reform GCSEs and ruled out any idea of a two-tier system with a second rung of exams along the lines of the former CSEs for less-able pupils.
A leak earlier this summer suggested he wanted a return to O-levels and a "son of CSE" for the less able.
Last night, though, he said: "I would like to see GCSEs reformed." He said he wanted to end a culture of constant retakes to improve grades and more emphasis on the end-of-course exam. He added: "There is one big change that I would like to see; in the past O-levels were only ever an examination for a minority. I believe we need to have properly rigorous exams for everyone. We don't want a two-tier system, we do want additional rigour and stretch."
His comments will be greeted with relief among heads and teachers who warned that any attempt to reintroduce the CSE would sentence thousands of pupils to failure – as the exam was largely ignored by employers and offered little chance of a route to further education. However, right-wingers in his own party may be less than impressed with his comments.
The Government's plans are likely to be included in a consultation paper to be launched in the autmun.In effect, they will mean scrapping the current two-tier GCSE system –whereby those candidates taking the second tier exam can only aspire to a C grade pass at best. It would be replaced with a new rigorous system styled along the lines of O-levels or the International GCSE, which is now preferred by many schools, including many in the independent sector, as it is considered capable of stretching pupils more.
Meanwhile, the Government has been accused of setting back drama teaching in primary schools by removing statutory guidance that it should be taught as part of the specified "speaking and listening" section of the English curriculum. The proposal is said to be contained in a draft document on the reforms.
Ministers said there would be a formal consultation on the reforms in the autumn.
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Royal baby: Live updates as the wait continues for Duchess of Cambridge's second child
Hermann Goering's daughter fails to reclaim items looted by Nazi deputy during WWII
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Windo...
£25 - 32,500K (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Produ...
£16000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning independent ...
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...