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 ?

MsAverage Thu 22-Nov-12 21:07:00

Talking, I was under impression that you were in favour of BTecs in car repairs.

MsAverage Thu 22-Nov-12 21:12:14

EvilTwins, you are for tiers, and TalkinPeace is against foundation papers. So how can you have tiers without teaching something foundation/basic/inferior to those who will never need anything?

EvilTwins Thu 22-Nov-12 21:12:23

MsA, there is nothing wrong with BTECs. In a number of subject areas, they are, IMO, a more appropriate type of qualification. I teach both BTEC and GCSE in my subject, and the BTEC involves about 5 times the amount of work. Just because there is no exam, it doesn't mean the qualification is worthless.

EvilTwins Thu 22-Nov-12 21:18:16

MsA, I'm not sure I understand the question. Personally, I think tiered exam papers are a good thing in core subjects, where most schools have sets anyway, so you don't get a case of higher tier students having to do foundation level work. Is that what you mean? But everyone has to cover the basics at some point...

TalkinPeace2 Thu 22-Nov-12 21:19:15

MsAverage
You need to reread what I said.
Btecs and foundation papers are essential for keeping low achievers in education at least until they are literate and ready to work.

One of my clients digs holes for a living - his only qualification is a strong back and no sense of the cold.
BUT he is getting his kids to try for 5 GCSEs - education must be inclusive to reduce crime.

MsAverage Thu 22-Nov-12 21:29:38

We need a flexible spread of education that [...] stops the less bright and the indigent from just walking away from education (BTecs and foundation papers)

Ok, sorry, I understood that BTecs were were mentioned as an example of "walking away".

MsAverage Thu 22-Nov-12 21:34:06

So, don't you think that compulsory "one of each" would guarantee that all the children are well exposed to the different routes before they start digging wholes for the living?

EvilTwins Thu 22-Nov-12 21:34:49

Do you even know what BTECs are? Student go ton university on the strength of Level 3 BTECs. confused

MsAverage Thu 22-Nov-12 21:40:50

Well, I can not read minds - for some people (on this forum as well) BTECs may mean "no education".

EvilTwins Thu 22-Nov-12 21:47:01

angry The level of ignorance in that post is staggering.

MsAverage Thu 22-Nov-12 21:54:22

I never tried to disguise the fact that I learnt English after 30yo, and know very little about life here. It is exactly why I am participating in this forum. If you are red unhappy about that, I can not do anything for you.

EvilTwins Thu 22-Nov-12 21:56:15

I am angry that you think BTEC = no education.

ReallyTired Thu 22-Nov-12 22:06:41

If BTECs are to carry any respect then they need to be available to all levels of ablity. I think that vocational qualifications need reform as well as GCSEs so that they are comparable difficulty.

I feel that EVERYONE needs Maths and English to a good standard. I believe that the current BTEC qualifications often include maths, english and possibly science already. Surely the maths and english could examined seperately from the car maintaince/ plumbing/ childcare.

14 years old is too young to stop academic study. Studying a couple of GCSEs alongside a vocational qualification keeps options open.

As far as I know most people with BTECs do not dig holes for living. People who are good with the hands are often good with their brains as well.

MsAverage Thu 22-Nov-12 22:06:58

You have to admit that it was not clear from the original message, to which part of the sentence the content of the brackets was referring to. That's why I asked Talking about their attitude to btec.

Back to the topic - do you really think that "one of each" will harm less capable children?

Being new in the country, I was pissed off when the school made my DD drop MFL and History after the age of 14 ("because you can not take everything to GCSE" - yes, you can, the child needs to have a bite from each subject).

Viviennemary Thu 22-Nov-12 22:10:23

A lot of people who have BTECS as an entry qualification to University struggle on the degree courses. Likewise people who have done Access courses. Even more so.

EvilTwins Thu 22-Nov-12 22:14:41

When you say that you think BTECs currently include English & Maths, do you mean as discrete subjects? Not as far as I know, though yes to Applied Science.

BTECs are available at all levels. Level 3 BTEC is the same level as an A Level, and a Level 3 Distinction carries the same number of UCAS points as an A2 grade A. IMO, BTECs are not appropriate for all subjects by any means, but the Level 3 I teach is by far a better way of assessing the subject I teach than an A Level. It includes far more work, far more appropriate work, and prepares students for continued study in that subject.

What BTECs need is better understanding from those not in education, and a foolproof system of quality review within centres to stamp out any potential misuse.

EvilTwins Thu 22-Nov-12 22:16:11

vm- I think it depends on the subject and course. As with a lot of things, students need appropriate advice.

noblegiraffe Thu 22-Nov-12 22:23:33

Reallytired, I'm a bit confused by your post about maths and English GCSE. It is virtually unheard of for kids not to sit these.

Kids who study BTEC courses do study GCSEs alongside them. I've taught kids who've got a B in maths GCSE and a car repair or hairdressing qualification. Are you confused about how these vocational subjects actually work? It's not an either or situation.

MsAverage Thu 22-Nov-12 22:23:40

And how that is related to Gove with his Ebacc?

MsAverage Thu 22-Nov-12 22:26:04

The previous mgs was to EvilTwins. Basically, the same question as above - whether promotion of BTECs is contradictory to Ebacc?

EvilTwins Thu 22-Nov-12 22:27:25

BTECs do not count in the EBacc. But that doesn't make them worthless.

noblegiraffe Thu 22-Nov-12 22:32:39

It depends whether you are talking current Ebacc or future Ebacc, what that will be replacing, what will happen to the subjects that are not replaced, and what will happen to the kids who are unable to access a qualification that's only aimed at 4/5 of students.

There was a suggestion that they would leave school with nothing except a certificate to say they'd been to school. So no BTECs.

MsAverage Thu 22-Nov-12 22:40:20

In my times and in my country of origin there was a compulsory equivalent of a chosen BTEC (not as well devised as modern BTECs here) alongside compulsory equivalent of Ebacc. I do not see anything wrong with such system, and do not think this Gove's initiative is as moronic as his usual ones.

MsAverage Thu 22-Nov-12 22:48:26

What would happen? Nothing would happen, he can not cancel teaching working professions.

EduCrazy Thu 22-Nov-12 22:50:38

I was totally against the scrapping of course work say for GCSE's as not every child is good at exams. Some who are less able to manage their fears, for example, could freak out on the day, which didn't necessarily mean they didn't know their stuff.

My views changed, however, when a report came out a couple of weeks ago which showed, Ethnic Minorities were given lower grades when their work was assessed by their teachers, with the same papers given higher scores when marked externally. Conversely, the study found that the marks of the White children were inflated.

I'm sure I don't have to spell out the long term problem with all this. At the very least we can see why the current system is in definite need of an overhaul.

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