The headmaster of Eton College is calling for GCSEs to be abolished and pupils spared ‘Victorian-style’ public examinations until they are 18. This is from the Daily Mail…
Tony Little said he wanted a ‘loosening’ up of what is expected of children at 16 to give schools more freedom over what they teach.
His comments come as around 600,000 pupils across the country await their GCSE results tomorrow.
Mr Little said: ‘It seems to me we’re moving to a period when, as a society, we seem to see merit in all, or at least the majority of students, continuing to the age of 18.
‘It rather begs the question why we’re having a major public examination at the age of 16 in the way we do it.
‘I say that because I think there are constraints about a traditional, one might almost say Victorian, form of examining – sitting on your own at a desk for a given period of time.
‘As soon as you go into the world of work, the last thing on the whole you do is sit down on your own without speaking. You’re dealing in teams, you’re dealing in groups, you’re sharing things.
‘What I’d like to see is a more inventive approach, a loosening of what we expect at the age of 16 so one could introduce qualifications based on the shared experience of young people. Personally I’d be very happy with a system with a robust examination at the age of 18 and more freedom for schools about how they get there.’
Do Tony Little’s ideas have merit? What do you think about postponing formal exams until 18 and giving greater discretion to schools up to that point? Please share in the comments or on twitter…