Imagine if we had just one body setting examinations for 16 year olds in the UK. The government is constantly looking for ways to save money; printing costs alone would save millions. I don’t think parents and the public in general have any idea of the ludicrous work load put upon Examination Officers these days. At many schools it is a full time job! At many private schools children in the same class will be sitting different exams for the same qualification! Mistakes are often made because of the complexity of so many different papers for the same subjects. Results comparisons are meaningless and standardisation is virtually impossible.
We need ONE body setting the examinations for core subjects at 16 and EVERYBODY should sit identical examinations for each subject. This would save money, raise standards, avoid errors and make statistical comparison of results have some meaning.
I think ‘total shambles’ is an apt description for this!
An exam based system with rigorous testing is what we need but it was a typical political move by Michael Gove to come up with sweeping (Baccalaureate) changes based on little or no consultation.
Once again time and money is wasted without being any closer to an examination system worthy of our nation. JUST MAKE THE EXAMS RELEVANT AND DIFFICULT so that we can properly assess future generations and provide them with a solid education (i.e. one with content that it is relevant for all and stretches the gifted).
Let’s also provide vocational qualifications in schools alongside mainstream academic subjects in the compulsory years. Give everybody the ability to learn and help the less academic to find their path in life without labeling them because they cannot achieve top marks in examinations. Well, we can dream…
I think that this announcement is broadly very positive. Getting rid of GCSEs is monstrously overdue. We do need more rigorous testing and we do need single board examinations.
However, extending education for all up to 18 is a mistake. There will always be students who perform badly in academic examinations for a wide variety of reasons. Why is there not a vocational element built in to these changes?
Give academically weaker students the opportunity to study mainstream subjects… they will probably be thankful for it in later life (if not so at the time!). but also let such students study towards skills that will make them employable when they leave school.
Why can’t we have students studying towards being electricians or carpenters alongside the traditional subjects? Let’s not have weaker students ‘catch up’ until they are 18. Armed with a grounding in a trade they could leave school at 16 and find meaningful employment.
Also, why do we have to jump on the Baccalaureate band wagon? Can we not at least be original and not confuse it with all the others?