Baccalaureate forced on students!

Colin Jones's picture
Can secondary schools force students to take the English Baccalaureate?

It appears that many schools are now "not offering" the normal choices that we've seen in previous years. Our daughter's school says she must take it and will not give her any other choice.

Does this mean schools are becoming dictatorships? It appears that they are not interested in the students welfare because students no longer have the freedom to choose the subjects that they are genuinely interested in.

Please all & any help greatly received,THANKS ALL
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Janet Downs's picture
Tue, 15/03/2011 - 14:21

It is an inevitable result of Government policy re the EBacc that schools will make it compulsory for pupils to "opt" for these subjects. Schools will be ranked according to how many of their pupils achieve 5 GCSEs C and above in the EBacc. The Government denies this, of course, saying "the full range of English bac will not be suitable for all pupils and that is why we have not made it compulsory". This comment is another example of Govian doublethink:

"not compulsory" = "a standard on which secondary schools will be judged".

Warwick Cairns's picture
Thu, 17/03/2011 - 11:41

Even if it were compulsory, I don't think it would be such a big imposition. At secondary-school level you take - what? Eight or nine subjects? The English Bac affects five of those - just over half - and seems to me to be a way of ensuring that all pupils, in their courses, cover the 'main bases' of a rounded education: English, maths, a science, a language and history or geography. The other subjects, as I understand it, can be whatever your child has an interest in or an aptitude for. That seems quite a good thing to me, and not at all onerous or unduly restrictive.

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 17/03/2011 - 16:14

The difficulty with the EBac is that it is not suitable for all pupils. Even the Government acknowledges this, although it's a bit disingenuous for the DfE to say that it's not compulsory when they will publish the results in league tables. I've no objection to pupils studying these subjects - as Warwick Cairns says, they're part of a rounded education. However, it's the enforced examination at GCSE level that is problematic, especially in languages. Despite Government rhetoric, I think this will inevitably lead to more grade inflation as exams get just that little bit easier so pupils at the lower end can achieve a grade C.

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