Exam board joins calls for government to ditch EBacc

The Stage reports that the company that runs one of the UK’s leading exam boards is calling for the government to stop using the English Baccalaureate to judge schools’ performances.

Education company Pearson, which incorporates GCSE and A Level exam board Edexcel, made the recommendation in a report on teaching assessment created with think tank LKMco.

The report has been welcomed by campaigners against the EBacc, who claim it has damaged the uptake of creative subjects.

The EBacc’s set of compulsory subjects – which does not include arts subjects – contributes to the government’s accountability measures for secondary schools: Attainment 8 and Progress 8. The percentage of pupils at a school that are entered into the EBacc is also measured as part of its performance.

The report claims that many teachers, parents and young people feel that assessment measures such as the EBacc “do not adequately capture pupils’ achievements”, and having a system in which schools are accountable for their results means they are incentivised to pick certain qualifications over others.

The report, called Testing the Water, is based on a national consultation on the future of assessment, which was undertaken in 2016 in response to “widespread concerns about how statutory tests and exams can distract schools from their core job”.

A spokeswoman for the DfE said: “We use a range of performance measures to assess secondary school performance in a number of areas and provide maximum transparency. Progress 8 is the primary accountability used by the department to assess performance.”

Read the full article Exam board joins calls for government to ditch EBacc

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