Headteachers oppose making EBacc GCSEs compulsory, new poll finds

The TES is reporting a survey that suggests the vast majority of headteachers are against a decision to make it compulsory for pupils to take the academic GCSEs needed to fulfil the EBacc.

…ASCL has found that 87 per cent of its members disagree with the change while only about 10 per cent support it.

Of those who oppose the proposal, 81 per cent said that the range of subjects required was too inflexible, 86 per cent said it would leave less room for creative or vocational subjects, about 97 per cent said it would not suit every pupil and 58 per cent said the change amounted to an unfair performance measure.

But almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of those who said they had concerns over the reform agreed that more flexibility in the choice of subjects would make them more inclined to support it.

They survey also found that 74 per cent of school leaders said that their school did not have enough teachers for the EBac subjects, with languages causing the most difficulties…

ASCL deputy general secretary Malcolm Trobe said: “We understand that ministers intend to consult widely during the autumn over their plan for the compulsory EBac, and we are very pleased that they are doing so. We hope that this will lead to them building more flexibility into this system…

More at: Headteachers oppose making EBac GCSEs compulsory, new poll finds


See more on this directly from the ASCL at Nearly nine in 10 school leaders oppose compulsory EBacc in its current form


Where do you stand on the EBacc?

Do you agree with the ASCL survey results in thinking it is too restrictive in its current form? If so, what kind of potential impact are you most worried about?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. Ian H

    Come on, it’s 2015, you mustn’t quote a survey without saying not just how many were asked (1,000) but also how many replied!

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove All teachers, not just HTs realise Ebac isn’t suitable for all by narrowing curriculum. MPs know better though apparently…

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove One wonders about thought process of policymakers. Marginalising some subjects & too few staff in others; tough to implement

  4. Dai_James1942

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove eBacc a desperate relaunch of failed academic curriculum fastened on state schs in 1990. #deckchairs #Titanic

  5. andylutwyche

    Dai_James1942 SchoolsImprove There does seem to be an element of that David. Not enough staff to teach it being the shining example!

  6. cia262

    Dai_James1942 SchoolsImprove andylutwyche As former Head of MFL, I support EBacc as way of stopping students pushed to ‘soft’ options.

  7. Dai_James1942

    cia262 SchoolsImprove andylutwyche academic curriculum of no intrinsic or instrumental value for 85℅ of kids. ‘Hard=Good’ is nonsense.

  8. c0mplexnumber

    cia262 Dai_James1942 SchoolsImprove andylutwyche So non-EBacc = soft? Disagree. With #STEAM careers booming, it’s a shortsighted policy.

  9. andylutwyche

    Dai_James1942 cia262 SchoolsImprove The current fad for increasing difficulty to increase rigour is not helpful

  10. andylutwyche

    c0mplexnumber cia262 Dai_James1942 SchoolsImprove Agreed – Ebacc is saving some subjects whilst marginalising others. All relevant

  11. cia262

    Dai_James1942 SchoolsImprove andylutwyche However, without EBacc able linguists were pushed out. Has created state/ indie split.

  12. Ian H It’s more unclear than that – if you read the ASCL release on this they say they had nearly 1,000 replies but don’t say how many were asked: http://www.ascl.org.uk/news-and-views/news_news-detail.nearly-nine-in-10-school-leaders-oppose-compulsory-ebacc-in-its-current-form.html

  13. Nothing wrong with studying these subjects – they’re part of a broad, balanced curriculum which should be available until 16.  It’s the compulsory examining of them which is objectionable.  Regular readers can turn away now because I’ve said this before: (a)  there is already too much emphasis on exam results in England and (b) we should be moving towards graduation at 18 via multiple routes. http://schoolsweek.co.uk/lets-move-towards-graduation-at-18/

  14. andylutwyche

    cia262 Dai_James1942 SchoolsImprove Too narrow at present and based upon the whims of the big cheeses at the DfE

  15. egaliteacher

    SchoolsImprove what will headteachers do if DfE doesn’t listen & forces agenda? Have the courage to say no? NAHTnews HeadsRoundtable

  16. acet2001

    SchoolsImprove And marginalises Design, Expressives and Sport. All areas where we actually have leading roles in the world.

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