Ebacc: ‘Education policy has become white noise’

The Tes reports that most teachers are too stressed to think about how terrible the government’s Ebacc policy really is – and it will add to those stress levels.

The branding around the mandatory menu of English, mathematics, history or geography, the sciences and a language has an unsavoury whiff of a mouldy old recipe doused in a fresh dressing.

As an educator for the past 19 years, my gut reaction is this: do these politicians really know what they’re doing? It looks to me like they’re grasping at straws rather than developing a considered strategy. The result, of course, won’t be some historic game-changer in terms of curriculum, it will be more work for teachers. Such reforms always have the same effect – and teachers know it. 

The result? Yet more teachers will try to leave.

Sourcing qualified specialist subject teachers to deliver, making the learning attractive to huge proportions of our children who are not interested in learning traditional subjects in a traditional way and ensuring pupils reach the unrealistic targets set by the government, are just the tip of the iceberg. 

When are we going to start celebrating vocational routes? We know that many of our European counterparts have strong and respected work-based educational flight paths that are treated as equal to academic ones. 

Unfortunately, in this country we are still hung-up about the academic route being the only ‘respected’ way – but this does not square with the diverse types of children who attend English schools. Then I see quotes from Ms Greening such as this one: “This will mark an important milestone in driving towards the government’s ambition that the vast majority of pupils – irrespective of background – have access to this core academic suite of GCSEs, which is central to a broad and balanced curriculum.”

A month ago one of my disaffected students was given the opportunity to be involved in a poetry workshop with the international poet Jane Duran.  All of us were wowed by my students final poetry piece and I have since been pestering her to attend writing classes in her spare time. This exceptional gift would never have been picked up in English lessons based on government expectations that predominately focus on traditional skills such as essay-writing and SPAG.

Read the full article Ebacc: ‘Education policy has become white noise’

What do you think of the EBacc policy? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: EBacc, Employment, Exams and Secondary.


  1. If in doubt, think of a worthy platitude. if in serious doubt, insist that your own (probably private) narrow minded, fact based, memory testing and teacher dominated education is the only way forward.

  2. Anonymous

    Don’t just focus on GCSE’s. This lack of evidence-based policy making is turning the whole education system into a narrow test focused shambles. But a narrow curriculum is cheap to deliver … cue profit driven GERM led academy chains.

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