COMMENT: Dilemma over exams
3:25pm Tuesday 18th September 2012 in News
CHANGES to the examinations system in our schools were perhaps inevitable given the GCSE qualification is now almost 30 years old.
Yesterday’s Commons announcement by Education Secretary Michael Gove signalled the end of the GCSE and the beginning of what will be known as the English Baccalaureate Certificate.
Mr Gove announced the end of coursework and continuous assessment and a return to old-style exams at the end of a school year.
His intention is to simplify the exams system and improve the standard of educational qualifications.
The reality, of course, is that a combination of devolution and political dogma means the changes will actually result in a far more complex system.
Mr Gove’s announcement will no doubt be trumpeted in the London media as a massive change for education in Britain. But the changes do not apply in Wales or Scotland. In Wales we await the outcome of a review of 14- 19 qualifications due to report at the end of November.
The Welsh Government is already at loggerheads with Westminster on this subject so we can safely assume the EBacc will not be studied here. Therefore, we will have children in Wales, Scotland and England all sitting a different style of exams. Time will tell what that will mean for the university prospects for pupils in each nation.