Fewer than 1 in 4 teachers support Gove’s GCSE reforms but parents are more positive

Only 22 per cent of teachers support Michael Gove’s plans to scrap GCSEs in favour of the new ‘EBacc’ qualification, a survey has found. However, a similar survey from the same polling company found that parents are more positive about the proposals. This is from the Telegraph…

Fewer than one in four teachers in England support Michael Gove’s plans to scrap GCSEs and replace them with new English Baccalaureate qualifications, a survey has found.

Only 22 per cent of education professionals polled by YouGov said they supported the move to the new ‘EBacc’ qualification, while half of all respondents said they opposed the proposed changes.

“The results of this survey clearly show that at the moment Michael Gove has a steep hill to climb in terms of getting teachers onside with his vision of the exam system,” said Ian Neale, Associate Director of YouGov.

The poll – released the day before Michael Gove launched an attack on teaching unions in his address to the Conservative party conference – also found teachers overwhelmingly opposed plans to assess the new ‘EBacc’ qualifications entirely on final exam scores. At present GCSEs are assessed through a combination of exams and ‘controlled assessment’ coursework.

However, 77 per cent of teachers did agree with proposals to allow only one exam board to administer each subject nationwide. The current GCSE system sees up to four different exam boards offer qualifications for each subject, with schools free to choose which board’s exam to use

The Telegraph exam boards investigation last December found evidence of a “race to the bottom” as exam boards were recorded boasting that their exams were easier than alternative qualifications and offering teachers secret advice on how to improve their GCSE and A-level results.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “This survey shows that teachers are clear that retaining the GCSE status quo is simply not an option – more than three-quarters want the system changed so that all children take a single exam for each subject.

“Modules, coursework and controlled assessment have all undermined the credibility of GCSEs by narrowing the curriculum, encouraging teaching to the test and fuelling grade inflation. And only last month headteachers highlighted the problems with the current marking system.

“There must be change. The new EBCs will be robust, rigorous and relevant – and will match exams in the world’s best education systems.”

In contrast to the teacher survey, an earlier poll by the same company found 39 per cent of all UK adults support the new ‘EBacc’ qualifications, while only 32 per cent of adults oppose the move away from GCSEs.

More at: GCSE reforms: Fewer than one in four teachers support Gove’s GCSE reforms, survey finds

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