Top – Pointless GCSEs should be scrapped, says senior MP



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GCSEs needs to be scrapped and A-levels needs to be changed by a mixture of tutorial and vocational topics, says Robert Halfon, chairman of the Training Choose Committee.

His radical rewriting of England’s examination system is designed to provide younger folks a much wider vary of abilities for his or her working lives.

The previous Tory minister says GCSEs for 16-year-olds have turn out to be “pointless”.

The Division for Training defended GCSEs as “gold normal” exams.

However head academics’ chief Geoff Barton stated the concepts had a “lot of benefit”.

Mr Halfon, who is because of current his blueprint at an occasion run by the Edge vocational schooling charity, needs to finish what he sees as an excessively slim tutorial pathway in secondary faculties.

Broader vary of topics

As an alternative of taking tutorial topics at GCSE and A-level, he needs younger folks to have a broader curriculum, with vocational coaching alongside conventional topics.

The MP is proposing a baccalaureate system to exchange A-levels, with a mixture of arts, sciences and vocational topics and exams on the age of 18.

“Do away with GCSEs, which appear to me pointless. As an alternative there needs to be some type of evaluation to indicate how far you are progressing,” he says.

“I might relatively that every one the focus needs to be on the ultimate examination earlier than you permit.”

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Robert Halfon says there’s a false division between tutorial and technical schooling

Mr Halfon says England has been trapped in a false division between tutorial and vocational research – and that is failing to organize younger folks for technological modifications within the office.

“The march of the robots” and the acceleration of synthetic intelligence might take away 1 / 4 of jobs, he says.

He suggest says there needs to be a royal fee on methods to put together for the impression of synthetic intelligence and robotics.

“I feel it should be dramatic. It’s going to change the best way we educate, change the best way we study and have a large impression on jobs and abilities.”

Expertise shortages

The previous schooling minister says younger persons are leaving faculty with out the abilities wanted for work, similtaneously trade is complaining of abilities shortages.

However scrapping GCSEs might increase questions for secondary faculties with out sixth kinds – which below the proposed modifications would now not have the main focus of any public exams.

It could additionally imply, for the reason that elimination of AS-levels, younger folks would apply to school with out having the outcomes of any public exams.

It could additionally increase questions on what would occur to younger individuals who presently take GCSEs however don’t stay to take exams on the age of 18.

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However Geoff Barton, chief of the ASCL head academics’ union, backed the underlying precept.

“GCSEs are a product of a unique period when many younger folks left schooling on the age of 16, however that is now not the case, and younger folks are actually anticipated to stay in full-time schooling or coaching till the age of 18.

“It could subsequently make a substantial amount of sense to exchange GCSEs with some type of light-touch evaluation which might assist decide post-16 routes relatively than persisting with high-stakes GCSEs.”

Altering expertise

Alice Barnard, chief govt of the Edge Basis, stated the plans mirrored the “considerations not solely of fogeys, academics and pupils themselves, however employers and enterprise leaders”.

“Expertise is shifting at such a speedy tempo and alter taking place so rapidly, we’re failing younger folks if we don’t allow them to develop the adaptability and the vital abilities they want,” she stated.

There have been earlier makes an attempt to mix vocational and tutorial pathways – reminiscent of Sir Mike Tomlinson’s evaluation of exams and the diplomas launched below the final Labour authorities.

Mr Halfon says he would count on a “large backlash” in opposition to such a change to GCSEs and A-levels.

A spokesman for the Division for Training stated vocational choices had been improved, with apprenticeships and the brand new T-level technical {qualifications}.

He defended the worth of GCSEs as “the gold normal qualification at age 16 and a passport to additional research and employability”.

“They have been not too long ago reformed in order that their demand matches that in different excessive performing nations and higher put together college students for work and additional research.”

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