The problem with EBacc Certificates

In the January 2013 issue of Independent Schools Magazine, HMC's General Secretary, Dr William Richardson discusses the politics and practicalities of the proposed replacement for GCSE.

The vast majority of our schools welcome proposals to overhaul GCSEs and A levels. In particular, they welcome moves to increase rigour in subject studies, reduce the burden of assessment on students aged 15-18 and differentiate student achievement more clearly across the grade range. However, there is unease about how it is proposed that these goals are pursued. At 16+, the timescale is far too rushed; there are more likely to be problems than advantages in creating exam board monopolies over individual subjects; the way in which grades are awarded by the boards and the regulator in uneasy alliance is fundamentally flawed; much more thinking needs to be done about forms of assessment and examination in English Baccalaureate Certificates; and, if a new name for 16+ exams is needed (a doubtful proposition), the title EBC is inaccurate and misleading.

Click here to read the article © Independent Schools Magazine