What are peoples thoughts on the English Baccalaureate ??

(205 Posts)

I know what I think, but i'm wondering if i'm alone in my thoughts.

So, any opinions ?

TalkinPeace2 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:30:27

its bollocks thought up by Gove to make Grammars look good and comps look bad but it backfired so he'll move the goalposts before the league tables come out in January
and its all hogwash anyway because he's changing the curriculum so much and so fast that the next few years' results will not be inter comparable
which is a right bugger for our children
not that he cares as his are teeny and will go private

I'm currently fuming. It seems to be setting less able children up to fail, right ??

Less vocational sunjects, no coursework, or controlled assessments, just one exam. So, only good for the super academic who sail through exams then.

lurcherlover Wed 21-Nov-12 20:40:40

It's morally abhorrent. It devalues subjects like Art, Drama and Music - subjects which enrich and add value to children's lives. Schools shouldn't be merely exam factories, which is what Gove wants them to be. I'm a secondary English teacher BTW.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:45:13

sorry OP
did not realise you were talking about his mooted brand new exam
ignore that - not gonna happen

Seems very sensible to me, though I am not sure what is so novel about it.

We had to take, double maths, double English, one foreign language, one science and one of either history or geography, at my school twenty years ago. That still left two/ three free choices so you could pick art etc if you wished to ( I chose economics, German, and geology).

How do you know it's not going to happen Talkingpeace ?? I hope you're right.

I do agree that something needed doing, but I just think this is so unfair to a large group of pupils.

senua Wed 21-Nov-12 21:08:19

It seems to be setting less able children up to fail, right ??

Yes. We should only have exams that everyone can pass.
hmm

Of course i didn't mean that Senua, don't be so ridiculous.

Some children do better with coursework, or during practical assessments and some are better in an exam environment. The current system uses all of those things and so everyone has a fair chance then imo.

Is drama a separate subject now? It used to be taught as part of English.

ReallyTired Wed 21-Nov-12 21:25:45

I think the English Bac is a good idea in principle. GCSEs were designed for a different era when most people left school at 16 and there was no internet cheating. Our children will be at school until 18

Our children need a rigorous challenge to compete with the best from India, Singapore and China. We have to up our gain.

It would be better for less able children to take the English Bac when they are ready, prehaps in the sixth form alongside a vocational qualification. Recongising that someone needs a little longer to reach an academic level is not setting up for failure. The lower grades of GCSE aren't worth the paper they are written on. It is the present GCSE system that sets up lower ablity children for failure as an E in English is worthless.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 21-Nov-12 21:40:52

Holy crap you guys have NO idea about the two thirds of society that does not darken the doors of selective or private schools.

There are kids at DCs school who will struggle to get a C in English, a C in maths, a C in single science and only really enjoy their BTec in car repairs

WTF is the point of talking about India, Singapore and China - do you go there to get your car mended, your hair cut or your drains unblocked?

The education system has to cater for EVERYBODY
Gove forgets that
as do the toffs in government and the opposition

chloe74 Wed 21-Nov-12 21:56:37

There seem to be a lot of left wing parents here just hating reform because of who is making it. You cant go through life telling everyone they have passed, when 1/5 of children need remedial help in Maths and English as soon as they get a job. The facts are that for the past decade our education system has failed our country. The only way it will recover is by being honest and testing children properly. Of course some of them wont get a C, that's because they cant read and write. On what planet does lying to them help?

This is a great idea and should help ALL of society. Lets also remember all the subjects will not be compulsory and kids can still do drama, RE, Arts etc

TalkinPeace2 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:00:01

when 1/5 of children need remedial help in Maths and English as soon as they get a job
source please

drama, RE, Arts etc
will not get bricks laid on new houses .....

MN yummy mummies seem to think that the whole world revolves around office jobs. It doesn't.

noblegiraffe Wed 21-Nov-12 22:06:24

The OP needs to clarify whether they are referring to the new exams that no one knows anything about that the current Y7 will be sitting in a few years time.

Or the badge that kids get if they sit a certain contentious selection of subjects which seems quite odd given that they already have the exam certificates to prove that they took them.

ReallyTired Wed 21-Nov-12 22:09:43

There is no point in giving a certificate to everyone. Your car mechanic will need to have basic maths and be literate. He will have to have some understanding of science to service modern cars.

No one is saying that there should not be vocational courses and there is no reason why some should not do their BTEC in car repairs alongside their EBAC.

I have to admit I am not sure why a humanity and a foreign language has been included in the EBAC. I suppose it about making a person tolerant and open minded. Modern languages, geography and history do give some insight into other cultures. I would prefer it if someone could have a non european modern language in their EBAC or prehaps religous education as a humanity.

"WTF is the point of talking about India, Singapore and China - do you go there to get your car mended, your hair cut or your drains unblocked?"

Immigrants certainly come to the UK and apply for British jobs. There are lots of Polish hair dressers, car mechanics and plumbers.

EvilTwins Wed 21-Nov-12 22:13:50

If it's the new exams, then my main concern is the total lack of alternative. It's an EBC in English or nothing. Where does that leave kids not capable of passing the new exam? There is no way that anyone should accept the concept of children leaving school with no qualifications in anything at all.

I teach Performing Arts at both BTEC and GCSE. The Level 2 BTEC involves about 5 times as much work as the GCSE, yet the general public view a GCSE A grade as far more valuable than a BTEC Distinction.

ravenAK Wed 21-Nov-12 22:20:35

Agree with lurcherlover - another secondary English teacher here.

It's a sensible option set for academic dc, & certainly I'd discourage my own kids from binning MFL or Humanities altogether before 16, but it doesn't merit further privileging academic students with a special badge.

Fortunately, about the only thing that I have in common with Gove is that my dc are young, so it is to be hoped that the poisonous little twerp is long out of office & ruining something other than education by the time they start secondary.

HappyTurquoise Wed 21-Nov-12 22:24:17

No arts subjects, which excludes a lot of creative people, and discourages people with artistic talent.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:24:55

Reallytired
I have clients who earn around £40k a year without being able to read or write other than their own name.
You have very little understanding of 'trades'
and Poles coming here is NOT what you implied in your earlier post about competing on an international level.

Manicurists and hairdressers do not need an EBAC in any form - they just need to be able to manicure while making small talk with people who spend in a day what they earn in a month.

cricketballs Wed 21-Nov-12 22:43:38

fully agree with Talkin - Eviltwins I just wish that the general public would get their heads out of the DM and MN and realise that BTECs are not the easy option!

My year 11 group who began the BTEC last year are completing this whilst I am having to race them through the GCSE as SLT are nervous in other words think BTEC will fail an Ofsted/league tables despite the BTEC being their decision in the first place and they are laughing at the knowledge required for GCSE compared to the amount of work they are doing for the BTEC.

In fact, the first lesson in September I gave them the summers paper without any warning and told them to complete it - I have ended up telling them to 'dumb down' their answers on the paper as they were bringing in so many factors in the extended writing questions that the marking scheme just didn't envisage.

I will openly admit that pass level, whilst still requiring a lot of coursework to complete is not that difficult; to achieve Merit or higher though does require a lot of work, analysis, evaluation and independent research that goes far beyond the norms of GCSE A* standard.

chloe74 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:09:08

John Cridland, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said on 19th November 2012 that "employers were being forced to provide remedial tuition in the three-Rs to as many as one-in-five new recruits – including those with good GCSE grades – because pupils have been “failed by the system”.

noblegiraffe Wed 21-Nov-12 23:32:22

This article says that the one in five figure refers to one employer needing to offer remedial numeracy training.

The problem with maths GCSE is that it is not a numeracy qualification. A good dose of algebra, an ability to interpret statistics, a knowledge of geometry and the lack of numeracy skills can be compensated for in order to gain a pass. Gove has so far dragged his heels over introducing the double maths GCSE, one on the 'basics' that employers want and one on the more abstract stuff, even though it was recommended by the Tory commissioned Carol Vorderman Maths report, possibly because the twin pair pilot was started by Labour.

There was also a functional maths qualification separate to GCSE which would have been ideal which was piloted about 5 years ago, but was scrapped the year it was supposed to become compulsory, (by Labour) the suspicion being because too many students failed it. Although functional maths is now an element of maths GCSE, as mentioned above, failure in those questions can be compensated for by good knowledge in other areas and a C still gained.

I'll agree that maths GCSE is not fit for purpose - but I am not convinced that Gove's plans are going to serve the bottom end well (especially if he, as planned, scraps tiered exam papers).

sashh Thu 22-Nov-12 05:15:30

I have 10 O Levels. Had the ebac existed I would have failed it.

I'm dyslexic and find it hard enough to spell in English let alone French.

At options evening I was noted as capable of O Level in every subject except French. I did not want to do CSE French, I wold not pass, so I did Art in my own time instead.

Ebac discriminates so much against anyone with dyslexia or anyone who struggles with a foreign language such as someone with a speach defect or anyone who is deaf.

It is stifilingly narrow, it only allows history and geography as humanities. Why not sociology, economics or phylosophy.

Why no art subject? Why no creative subject? Are specialist ballet and music schools going to plumet down the tables because their students spend hours learing things that 'don't count'?

Why is nothing outside school counted? Surely there could be some credit for playing sport or voluntry work.

Decemberinthesun Thu 22-Nov-12 05:45:13

"Our children need a rigorous challenge to compete with the best from India, Singapore and China. We have to up our gain".

Actually I totally agree with ReallyTired. I am currently living abroad and my children are at school with children from Singapore, India and China. Their attitude to school and learning is very different to what you see in the UK now. You may ask what this has to do with the average job in the UK but it will have a lot to do with it in the future. If their workforces become more attractive to companies e.g. better educated workforce at lower costs than the UK then they will outsource or set up there. I worked in HR, responsible for manpower, in the UK and throughout Asia and I can tell you that companies want the brightest staff at the lowest cost. Just try and get a job in IT now in London. You would be really hard pushed to get an entry level position as a Graduate as there are thousands of other nationalities willing to do those jobs for half the money. It really, really scares me that other nationalities are prepared to put their everything into their kids education and we as a nation seem to be pussyfooting around making sure no ones feelings are hurt. We will be returning to the UK in 2 years and I personally will be looking for an independent school who is going to push my child academically. Once upon a time you would go for a job and there would be a couple of hundred other Brits going after it. In the future (even now) that job you want will have people all over the world applying for it.

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