Michael Gove abandons EBacc plans

By Gerald Heneghan

Education secretary Michael Gove is set to announce plans to replace GCSE qualifications with English Baccalaureate (EBacc) have been abandoned.

He is expected to make a statement to parliament later today (February 7th), in which the climbdown will be announced, as well as other changes to the UK curriculum.

Gove had planned to bring in the new qualifications in 2015 but was faced with stiff opposition from teachers and MPs.

The Labour Party branded the move a “humiliating climbdown” for the education secretary and claimed he should have paid more attention to the views of business leaders and educators.

“He needs to go back to the drawing board and develop a curriculum and exam system that meets our future challenges as a country. Labour wants to work with the Government to forge a long term consensus on exam and curriculum reform,” shadow education secretary Steven Twigg said.

Under the EBacc proposals, high school pupils would have seen a return to end-of-course exams, as well as the introduction of a tougher syllabus.

However, Gove is expected to announced limited reforms to GCSE qualifications, which would see their role reduced.

The move had been fiercely opposed by teaching unions and the National Union of Teachers today hailed the u-turn as “really good news”.

“Michael Gove has for once listened to sense. The English Baccalaureate Certificates were universally condemned by everyone from the teaching profession to bodies representing the arts, sport, business, technical and design groups and the education select committee,” said general secretary Christine Blower.

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