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It is time to raise aspirations and restore rigour...

lundi 17 septembre 2012, par Rhydwen Volsik

Un large extrait d’un article du Guardian à propos du remplacement en Angleterre du GCSE par un "English Baccalaureate".

Education secretary Michael Gove reveals new system will be a revamped English Baccalaureate qualification starting in 2017

The biggest shakeup of the exam system for English secondary schools in a generation was unveiled as ministers said GCSEs would be scrapped in favour of a revamped English Baccalaureate qualification from 2017.

As education experts raised concerns that less academically gifted pupils could be left behind by the new "EBacc", the education secretary, Michael Gove, confirmed that a sizeable proportion of students would leave school with no qualifications. Students who find the new exams "difficult" will be given a "detailed record of their achievement" by their schools, which will be forwarded to further education colleges where they will be encouraged to sit the exams later, aged 17 or 18.

The confirmation that a large number of students will leave school without a qualification is likely to intensify criticism. The National Union of Teachers said ministers were creating a two-tier system.

Gove and the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, visited an academy in west London to set the seal on the reforms, which will see GCSEs phased out in two stages :

• From the autumn of 2015, pupils will be taught for the new EBacc in English, maths and science. These will cover seven papers : English language, English literature, maths pure and applied (with an additional maths option), chemistry, physics and biology.

The new exam will be sat for the first time in these subjects in the summer of 2017. There will be no coursework in English and maths as modules are scrapped on the grounds that they encourage what Gove described as "bite-size learning and spoon-feeding". There will be some coursework in science to take account of the importance of laboratory work.


Gove told MPs : "Critical to reform is ending an exam system that has narrowed the curriculum, forced idealistic professionals to teach to the test and encouraged heads to offer children the softest possible options. It is time for the race to the bottom to end. It is time to tackle grade inflation and dumbing down. It is time to raise aspirations and restore rigour to our examinations."


Gove said : "Critically we will end the competition between exam boards which has led to a race to the bottom with different boards offering easier courses or assistance to teachers in a corrupt effort to massage up pass rates. We will invite exam boards to offer wholly new qualifications in the core subject areas - English, maths, the sciences, history, geography and languages."


Stephen Twigg, shadow education secretary, said the reforms risked a return to the 1980s. "We need to face the challenges of the 21st century," he said. "We on this side will not support changes that only work for some children."

Nicholas Watt

Voir en ligne : GCSE exams to be replaced by EBacc