Leading article: To the back of the class

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Last week the Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, announced that coursework was to be cut from GCSE maths. Yesterday the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said it should be dropped from a host of arts subjects too. The wind is blowing against coursework, just as fiercely as it once blew in its favour. Not that the arguments have changed much over the years.

When the great coursework revolution was taking place there were plenty of warnings about inappropriate parental "help" and the potential for plagiarism from the internet. Lo and behold, teachers are now complaining about just such practices. Coursework has its place. It relieves the burden of constant testing and helps promising pupils who do less well in timed exams.

But, in time-honoured fashion, the Government went too far and is executing an undignified retreat. A for the idea. F for the execution.