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

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarConor McGovern 26th Oct - 1:57am
    I think it's just got a lot tougher with the Tories not fielding a candidate, at least not in name.
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 26th Oct - 1:42am
    Some Bookies may have us as favourites, but without a big name candidate for the Lib Dems, Zac Goldsmith's majority and money will be too...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 26th Oct - 1:38am
    It's taken me a long time to go through all the arguments in this fascinating discussion, so apologies for writing so late. I agree with...
  • User AvatarPhilip Rolle 26th Oct - 12:34am
    You need someone experienced - perhaps one of those who were unseated in 2015. Ed Davey? Jo Swinson?
  • User AvatarMichael BG 26th Oct - 12:26am
    On my first reading of the RSA scheme, they have kept disability benefits out of it and suggested a way to ensure that the poorest...
  • User AvatarJoebourke 25th Oct - 11:21pm
    Excellent article Helen around an increasingly important issue. This policy needs to be dovetailed with a long overdue reform of the tax and national insurance...