Head welcome Government u-turn over English baccalaureate

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

Headteachers in the Boston area have given their support to a dramatic government u-turn over the introduction of the English Baccalaureate.

Education secretary Michael Gove announced last week he was abandoning plans to shake up the exam system with the new academic qualification, in favour of more rigorous GCSE exams.

The climb-down comes after a Government committee said the change, which was intented to provide a robust quality measure in core subjects from 2015, could affect the quality of exams, rather than improve them.

Martyn Taylor, headteacher at The Thomas Cowley School, in Donington, said he was pleased with the move, adding: “I am delighted that this nonsensical scheme has been abandoned.

“As a school with many students who have profound talent in design and technology, music, art, drama and dance, I am delighted that subjects like these are not going to be marginalised.”

The Ebacc, as it was known, had already been introduced in some schools as a tool to assess performance in core subjects, including English, maths, science and a language. Last year, three students at Thomas Cowley were assessed in this way.

Haven High Academy made the decision not to introduce the Ebacc, but to give students the choice whether or not they wanted to follow the particular subjects.

Headteacher Adrian Reed told The Standard: “It was clear that it was designed to push students down a particular curriculum or qualification route, and we decided we were not going to force students to take the subjects just so the school could perform higher in the league tables,

“Many of our students are talented in music, the arts, drama and physical subjects, and we didn’t want to force them to do history of ancient Hebrew for the league tables.

“I think we made the right decision then, and we have been vindicated as our curriculum is still fit for purpose for our students.”