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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


I'm not going to post at length here (it could get horrifically ranty), but here's where we are:

GCSE English fiasco

  • Kids in Wales who sat WJEC English Language GCSE have had their results changed as a result of the grade boundaries being moved
  • Kids in England who sat WJEC English Language GCSE have not
  • Kids in Wales who sat other boards' English Language GCSE have not

EBC Qualifications

Kids who are currently in yr 7 will sit the new EBC qualifications in English, Maths and Science when they complete yr 11. They will have to sit a 3-hr exam for each subject and no coursework will be included. Resits will not be possible. The remaining EBacc subjects (Languages and Humantities) will be sat from the following year, with non-core subjects following later. The exam boards are preparing their bids to compete for the right to offer each subject; schools/colleges/pupils will not have a choice - there will be one specification for each subject. These papers will not be tiered; all pupils will face the same questions/tasks.

Because of the preparation time needed to create exams, it will not be possible to reverse these decisions, no matter what the outcome of the next election. Yes, that's right. Obviously, there is some kind of consultation period, but it's hard to imagine this not going ahead at this point.

It is possible for Lib Dem to claim that we/they have 'won' in that there will not be a return to an O Level/CSE style division, but in reality all that has happened is that only the O Level equivalent will be available. There will be more failures, and this is to be seen as a sign that the new exams are more robust. Those who are not entered for the EBC (or the EBacc - it's not entirely clear) will be issued with a statement of achievement, which sounds rather like a school report or reference outlining their abilities.

Need I repeat that Gove must go?

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