The return of traditional exams at GCSE will discriminate against girls and lead to the creation of a new gender gap in education, teachers’ leaders warned today. This is from the Telegraph…
Coalition proposals to scrap coursework and a move towards end-of-course tests will benefit boys and may lead to a drop in girls’ grades, it was claimed.
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers called for wholesale changes to qualifications for 14- to 16-year-olds to be shelved to allow extensive research to be carried out into the impact of the reforms.
It comes after Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, confirmed plans last month for exams to be taken at the end of two-year GCSEs, rather than as part of bite-sized modules taken throughout the course.
He also proposed an increase in extended questions and less internal assessment, including coursework.
But Geoff Venn, a retired chemistry teacher from Bedfordshire, told the ATL annual conference in Liverpool that improvements to girls’ GCSE results could be lost as a consequence of the change.
They are less confident and adventurous when taking end-of-course exams and figures suggest their results improved under a shift towards coursework in recent decades, it was claimed…
The article concludes…
Girls’ results have soared above those of boys over the last 30 years as successive governments have introduced more coursework and cut a focus on end-of-course exams.
Last summer, 73.3 per cent of GCSEs taken by girls were awarded at least a C grade, compared with 65.4 per cent of boys’ entries.
Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary, said: “It may be that the rise of ‘girl power’ in qualifications is down to a more measured way of assessment, of which coursework is a part.”