It looks like pupils across England will sit GCSEs for the last time in 2015, paving the way for more traditional exams modelled on the old O-levels the following year. This is undeniably a bold move – breath-taking even – which has taken politicians and educationalists completely by surprise. But is it right?
Singapore is a prosperous place with an education system that serves its brightest students exceptionally well. It is also a socially immobile and deeply unequal state. That’s not Gove’s vision for the UK, is it?
It’s easy to dismiss Michael Gove’s decision to replace GCSEs with O-Levels as a “ludicrous” move. In fact, that was the exact term used by Mary Bousted, leader of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, who accused the Education Secretary of having a rose-tinted view of the past. As the news emerged last night, the Twitterati jumped all over it. Why stop at bringing back GCSEs, they cried. What about leg warmers and fax machines?
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