The madness of Gove's English Baccalaureate

Liam Collins's picture

Hello Year 9 – your KS4 curriculum for next year will be:

English, English Lit, Maths, Triple Science, History or Geography and a Modern (although the correct definition of that term is now up for debate) Foreign Language (Spanish, French, German, Italian, er, Latin &, er, Biblical Hebrew). You will get more time to study these subjects as our league table position will rely on them.

You can then pick one subject from the following "non-academic" GCSEs: (yes, just the one, seriously, just one)

Business Studies, ICT, Sociology, Art, Drama, Music, Media Studies, RE, Engineering, Psychology, Health & Social Care, Law, Economics, Critical Thinking, Citizenship, Statistics, PE, Resistant Materials, Textiles, Technology, Graphic Design Catering, Food Tech etc
Oh, don’t forget there aren’t enough of you to run all of those courses now so a number will have to be removed based on a lack popularity. Oh, and if you aren’t suited to a GCSE style and prefer a coursework/vocational approach to assessment, er, tough.

No more multiple choices in the Arts, not academic enough. No more picking a variety of highly academic GCSEs such as RE, Engineering, statistics, law, economics, sociology, psychology, critical thinking because, …er…well they aren’t academic enough to be counted, according to Gove. In fact all of the GCSEs listed above have an academic rigour, but aren’t academic enough to be counted. No more picking subjects (multiples of subjects) because you enjoy them. No more balanced curriculum choices across a range of subjects.

So when Gove says he will ‘widen’ the curriculum, please put that into the context of the reality of what will now happen in secondary schools across the country.
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Francis Gilbert's picture
Wed, 05/01/2011 - 11:25

I think this post really illustrates the way in which this current government is intent upon restricting genuine choice for our students. It talks about offering parents choices about schools, but this is just a smoke-screen for a Stalinist agenda to bring back an antiquated curriculum, the like of which hasn't been seen since the 1950s.

Andrew Old's picture
Wed, 05/01/2011 - 18:47

It doesn't matter how much you whine. To those of us who know what the various secondary school courses are like and who are against dumbing down it seems like a very good policy.

Tamandra Ford's picture
Wed, 12/01/2011 - 00:15

This is such a backward, narrow minded approach. I can not believe that this white paper is being taken seriously by anyone who values equal opportunity and choice. As a music teacher of 30 years experience it is enough to make me resign with disgust if no one else is going to make a stand. Why are teachers everywhere not uniting in anger? Subjects should not be rubbished in this way.

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