GCSEs: I’ll never forgive you, Michael Gove

The Guardian reports the responses from parents and teachers to the their report detailing the mental stress suffered by pupils taking the new GCSEs

“My daughter is part of this year’s GCSE cohort, the first guinea pig year of the government’s new “hostile environment” for secondary students. Having revised her socks off, she is now thoroughly demoralised. Questions in every subject paper taken so far seemed designed not to allow her to shine, but to frustrate; to highlight what students couldn’t know rather than what they have covered in depth.”

Tom Hardy
London

“My granddaughter worked so hard throughout this long exam period, shutting herself away and suffering from migraines and stress-related withdrawal. To think that this experience was multiplied in families across the country is heartbreaking. My son and daughter-in-law became anxious to the point that their own lives became difficult. Should we be subjecting our 16-year-olds to this torture? “

Diana Sutherland
Leeds

“Politicians on both sides seem hellbent on creating systems that produce citizens in their own image. The still largely Oxbridge-educated and male-dominated House of Commons doesn’t value diversity in people. The ability to pass an exam may have been useful for them, but in the real world the ability to get on with people and be creative trumps a list of high grades. Modernising our education system is essential: the latest changes to the GCSE system has done the exact opposite.”

Dudley Hewlett
Stoke on Trent

Read more comments from parents and teachers GCSEs: I’ll never forgive you, Michael Gove

What would you write? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamisn

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Comments

  1. The whole thrust of the educational reforms of the 1980s were underpinned by the concept that during assessment ‘children should be able to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do’. Moving to terminal examination only, coupled with papers have have to differentiate between the able, more able and most able, the majority of the children are facing terminal examinations that are simply not fit for the purpose of celebrating what they k,u&cd.
    Because of the dramatically increased spotlight on league tables which are about examination performance and nothing else, provision has narrowed progressively over the past 20 years. Experienced teachers can actually dodge the bullets for their class and construct learning experiences which celebrate as well as build expertise – but with such a shortage of experienced teachers now across the country, actually newbies can only worry about exam performance.

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