The Education Secretary has given in to mounting criticism and reversed his plans to scrap GCSEs. Unions have welcomed his change of heart. Michael Gove admitted that his plans to replace GCSEs with an EBacc Certificate was ‘one reform too many at this time’, The Independent reports. Although he had previously condemned GCSEs, they will now be retained, but will be reformed to restore confidence in them.
Speaking to the House of Commons, he also outlined his plans to transform the curriculum in primary and secondary schools, moving towards a more traditional and rigorous approach.
Mr Gove had come under increasing pressure from MPs, Ofqual and unions to rethink his plans and last week a damning report from the Education Select Committee criticised them as ‘too much, too fast’.
Stephen Twigg, Shadow Education Secretary, described Mr Gove’s turnaround as ‘a humiliating climbdown’ and exam policy as ‘a total shambles’. He claimed that parents and pupils were left confused and demanded an apology from him.
Unions representing heads and teachers welcomed the rethink: “Mr Gove has seen the warning light and slammed on the brakes just in time,” said Russell Hobby from the NAHT.
Has Michael Gove done the right thing or has he turned the exam system into a ‘total shambles’?