These reforms were obviously brought in without any real prior research. Teachers, children and parents alike were not asked how the GCSE's could be improved, they were not informed of the changes taking place and they had no say in the matter.
This U-turn is good news for everyone involved in education.
Admittedly some GCSE's are a little 'soft' and work is needed to re-think and re-structure them. But changing them completely over night was madness.
Many of the new education policies seem to focus on the short-term rather than long-term. Of course a rational person wouldn't want to defend Gove, but he's right about one thing. Change is needed.
An increasing number of students find the current GCSE exams easy, of course some don't. But, the majority of GCSE subjects contain coursework and with extra support from teachers, parents and even private tutors, children are rewarded with high grades. A and B grades are becoming more and more frequent when coursework is an option, especially in some subjects where it accounts for 50% of the GCSE. I don't think this sudden change of heart is humiliating for Gove; he was brave enough to implement changes, whereas Blair and his cronies weren't.
However, that is where the support from me stops.
The Ebacc would have further alienated certain students and made it increasingly difficult for all students to have the chance to achieve high grades. Children with Special Educational Needs (S.E.N's) for example, would really have struggled if the new exam structure had been implemented. The way in which the new Ebacc exams were assessed, at the end of two year period with no or very little coursework, would have been, as Gove said 'A Bridge too Far!'
Children with dyslexia for example would not have been able to cope. They rely on short, bite-sized chunks of information. Learning and studying for 24 months and then sitting up to 10 exams over a two-week period would not have worked for dyslexic children, their needs were not considered. The new tiered targets that the Education Secretary has implemented make it increasingly hard for these 'type's' of pupils to succeed. 'A Bridge over the River Kwai' may be more appropriate!
Secretary of the NUT, Christine Blowers, Ofqual and every single teacher throughout the country are showing signs of relief. Mrs Blowers went on to say - "The Ebacc was entirely the wrong thing to do, especially in the timeframe Mr Gove had in mind, we're pleased with this new move."
I'm not sure Mr Gove has the support of many, if any of the public. He has, so far, made some ridiculous and irresponsible decisions. The GCSE grades row was and still is a nightmare, teachers' pay rises to be based on performance, completely the wrong way to go about things! Why does he think that this will change the performance of Schools? Does he think that punishing teachers will make them learn, and then work harder to make sure pupils pass?
What if Mr Gove's pay was based on performance?
This is what happened when someone put this idea to him last week...Click
I've spoken with a number of teachers, private tutors and parents about this, for them, it is the first bit of good news since Gove took over.
Finally, and on a lighter note, I watched this yesterday; PLEASE can someone tell me who the chap on Goves' right is? I'm guessing he has a 14-year-old son! His face is priceless!