Tag Archives: gcses

David Laws MP writes… Ambitious for every child

Liberal Democrats are determined to ensure that all our pupils can access qualifications that measure up to the best in the world today.

But existing GCSEs have weakened over time. Colleges and employers tell us they don’t prepare young people properly for work or further education. While GCSE results have increased steadily, England’s results in the internationally recognised PISA tests have remained flat. This cannot be fair for young people who are working hard to achieve their best.

GCSEs need to change: the question is how.

The original plan to bring back the O-Level was unacceptable. A two-tier system that divides pupils into …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 6 Comments

Gove forced into GCSE U-turn ‘under Lib Dem pressure’

The morning’s big news is that Conservative education secretary Michael Gove is set to announce a U-turn today on his plans to scrap the current GCSE exams and replace them with a new EBacc qualification in 2015. Here‘s how the Independent reports it:

The Education Secretary bowed to overwhelming pressure for a rethink from Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, the exams regulator Ofqual and MPs from all parties. It is understood that he decided to act after being warned by civil servants that one key plank of his reforms – handing each of the core subjects over to just

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 27 Comments

What Lib Dem members think about EBacc, academies and free schools

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum before conference to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Narrow backing for replacing GCSEs with EBacc

LDV asked: Nick Clegg and Michael Gove this week announced that the GCSE exams in England will be replaced by a new qualification in core subjects called the English Baccalaureate Certificate from 2017. This will mean a single end-of-course exam sat by almost all pupils and one exam board for core subjects. From …

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , , and | 9 Comments

Dan Rogerson MP writes…How we reformed GCSEs

I suspect there are precious few people out there who are not aware that Michael Gove wasn’t entirely happy with the current state of the GCSE system.

You’re probably also aware that when he first suggested he wasn’t happy with the current system, Nick Clegg, Joan Walmsley and I wasted no time in telling him that Liberal Democrats, a party who believe in social mobility, would not tolerate a return to a two tier education system.

What you may not be aware of is just how the two parties have been working since then to find a compromise that combines the shared …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 11 Comments

Opinion: How do Gove’s plans match up to Lib Dem policy?

Three months ago I penned my debut submission to LibDemVoice – There is much for the Lib Dems to support in Gove’s embryonic exam proposals – in the wake of the early leaks of Gove’s plans for the replacement of GCSEs. In that, I set out how Michael Gove’s policies matched up with Liberal Democrat Party Policy, and came to some conclusions on how Gove’s proposals would need to be altered to be in line with our policies;

The four criteria were:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 62 Comments

Opinion: How GCSEs made me envy my son

The heady waft of future and assured pupil disengagement is already pungent only one day after the announcement of the new exam system.  The wrong-headedness of the “reform” is enough to actually make you gasp.

Don’t get me wrong, I really do hate the personal anecdote–beloved of many politicians and responsible in my view for so much political damage (and used to the usual effect yesterday in that disturbing article in the Evening Standard).

But here’s one.  My elder son recently gained 11 A stars in his GSCEs.  He is a very academic child, as I was.  But as he did …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 48 Comments

Opinion: Beyond the Ebacc

Two years ago theWest Midlands Region embarked on a project which we called “Beyond the Ebacc.” We chose the title because we recognised then that the Coalition government was intent on embedding the Ebacc as the gold standard qualification at 16 and wanted our party, the Liberal Democrats, to emerge from coalition with our own radical policies in this critical area.

We were able to draw on a wide range of experience, including that of overseeing education in large municipal authorities.

Our concern was the stark evidence that our school system is failing many young people. Every government that has sought to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments
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  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 29th Apr - 2:51pm
    I read this to see if it was more inspiring than Tim Farron's simplistic stop the Tories pitch, and whilst there seems to be more...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 29th Apr - 2:25pm
    As usual the same old response from some to a moderate and measured piece. Some good points some bad feeling. Can we not agree to...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 29th Apr - 2:00pm
    Just what we need , well done Tim ! The emphasis needs to be on centre and centre left , for all the criticism on...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 29th Apr - 12:46pm
    Lol, good stuff! We don't see a lot of older musicians so Norman's band is a welcome contribution. I'm not saying there are no older...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 29th Apr - 12:12pm
    @ Caractacus, Yes, Like Nick Clegg signing the White Paper on NHS reform - signed David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Andrew Lansley.
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 29th Apr - 12:11pm
    @Ian Sanderson (RM3) "A young person in their late teens is developing rapidly, and especially if they have no university family background or acquaintance with...