Warning over new 'Baccalaureate'
Thursday 25 August 2011
The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) could disadvantage the poorest students, it was warned today as pupils collected their GCSE results.
Independent think tank Civitas said the pressure of league tables can lead to schools discouraging students from taking non-compulsory subjects if they are not expected to get a C or above in them.
To gain the EBacc, a flagship Government scheme, pupils must score at least a C grade at GCSE in English, maths, science, a foreign language, and history or geography.
While the EBacc is not compulsory, it has been widely predicted that many secondary schools will begin to steer pupils towards these subjects.
Civitas's director of education Anastasia de Waal said: "A student judged to be unlikely to get a C risks both failing to add to the league tables and being a potential distraction for teachers from the EBacc goal."
The think-tank said that because of the correlation between lower exam performance and free school meal eligibility, the students liable to be excluded from EBacc subjects are "disproportionately likely to be poorer".
Ms de Waal added: "The House of Commons Education Committee found little evidence to suggest that the EBacc would help the most disadvantaged.
"The A*-C focus is a key impediment. Ensuring equality of access to academic subjects is a positive goal, but the strategy is redundant if the most deprived lose out."
Meanwhile, exam chiefs stressed that schools must make sure pupils have a rounded curriculum in the wake of the EBacc's introduction.
Ziggy Liaquat, managing director of exam board Edexcel, said: "I think it will certainly start to drive behaviour and we're starting to see that happen already.
"The important thing to remember about the EBacc is that it does just represent part of the curriculum, because there is space and there should be space for other qualifications as part of the curriculum time.
"What's incredibly important is that we have young people with a rounded education."
The EBacc was included in league tables for the first time earlier this year, with just one in six teenagers in England (15.6%) achieving it.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently have an opportunit...
£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently have an opportunit...
£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join ...
£190 - £200 per day: Ashdown Group: Payroll & Finance Manager - Covent Garden,...