GCSE Reform Consultation is Launched, 2012

Published: 17th September 2012

As you will have seen in the media, the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove has launched a consultation on proposals for a radical reform of the examination structure for 14-16 year olds.

The proposed new English Baccalaureate Certificate will encompass the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and the Humanities. The first cohort of students will begin their study of the new qualification in 2015, with first examinations in 2017.

Mr Gove expects the vast majority of students to be entered for the English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBC) but that a significant number will not pass. Those who are not entered for the EBC will instead receive a Statement of Achievement detailing their strengths and weaknesses in each of their subjects.

The examinations will be 100 % externally assessed and there will be no tiered papers. Each subject will be administered by a single examination board. Tenders will be awarded to the boards who present the best suite of qualifications in each subject for a period of 5 years.

Mr Gove has indicated that these reforms are vital to stop Britain from falling down against other high performing jurisdictions and would end the dumbing down of exams and restore rigour:

"After years of drift, decline and dumbing down, at last we are reforming our examination system to compete with the world's best."

Stephen Twigg the shadow Education Minister has called the proposals "completely outdated" and warned that the proposals would bring back a "two-tier system which left thousands of children on the scrapheap at the age of 16"

As one of the proposed EBC core subjects, it is vital that the Historical Association responds to this consultation and we need your views to help inform our response. Please take 5 minutes to complete our short online survey and help us to make the collective views of those of us passionate about history education heard. You can access our survey here.

In addition you can also respond as an individual to the consultation which you can access in full here:

The consultation ends on December 10th 2012.