19 September 2012
Baccalaureate will ‘stigmatise’ young – says Green Party Leader
THE GOVERNMENT’s new examinations risk introducing a three-tier education system which could divide and stigmatise our nation’s young, the Green Party has warned.
Education Secretary Michael Gove , has announced plans to replace GCSE exams with an English Baccalaureate scheme, but admitted that many may finish school at 16 with no qualification, instead receiving a ‘record of achievement’ and the chance to re-sit at 17 or 18 years of age.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said: ‘Because many subjects are missing from the Baccalaureate it risks dividing young people, and the fact that many young people will receive a record of achievement instead means this system divides and stigmatises young people for life.’
The EBacc system will drop coursework, in favour of one exam at the end of two years of learning.
Ms Bennett said: ‘Our overstressed, already over-tested young people will be placed under yet more pressure. And though exams suit some people, they bear little relation to the real world, where using information you have learned, as is required for coursework, is much more important.’
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Notes to Editors
1.) The first students to study the EBacc will be examined in 2017.
2.) Ms Bennett said: ‘Unions like the NUT have flagged up this problem since GCSEs were proposed, and it’s good the appalling situation of competition where competition doesn’t belong will end. But it could lead to a further narrowing of what can be taught, with every young person in the country studying the same texts. We need an education system which engages with the interests and concerns of students across the country.’
3.) One element of the new scheme which has been welcomed is that exam boards will no longer compete with one another to win contracts with schools – a practise which may have led to some boards offering ‘easier’ exams to win business from school.
4.) The first subjects to be taught will be Maths, English Literature, English Language and Science, with History, Geography, and Modern Languages added the following year.
5.) For more information about Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, visit: http://nataliebennett.greenparty.org.uk/
6.) For more information about the Green Party, visit: http://www.greenparty.org.uk/