Children could end up ‘alienated’ by Gove’s GCSE plans

Pupils getting their GCSE results at Chatsmore, with head teacher Mike Madden (white shirt) looking on.

Pupils getting their GCSE results at Chatsmore, with head teacher Mike Madden (white shirt) looking on.

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HEAD teachers have met education secretary Michael Gove’s latest plans for GCSE reforms with scepticism.

The latest reforms – Gove’s fourth attempt to revamp the 20-year-old qualification, include major changes to the grading system and assessments.

It is intended to make the qualification “more challenging, ambitious and rigorous”, but heads have expressed concerns about the effect it could have on children’s futures.

Mike Madden, head teacher at Chatsmore Catholic High School, in Goring Street, Worthing said: “There has not been a review for many years and we welcome one, but making things harder does not mean it is going to raise educational achievement.

“The changes could be detrimental and alienate a lot of children.”

Mr Madden has particular concerns about assessments solely at the end of year-11, and the scrapping of multi-tiered exam papers.

He also believes a new 1-8 grading system is effectively “what we have already”.

He added: “I also don’t know where people get the idea from that we are not studying Shakespeare from.

“We study a range of traditional texts such as Steinbeck and Shakespeare and spelling, punctuation and grammar are the absolute bedrock of our English and wider school curriculums.”

For the full story, see the Herald and Gazette, out today (Thursday, June 20).