Let’s revise GSCE’s, A-levels and allocate training places when schools are on their break.


Those of us who have worked with and/or observed Government for a while can get a bit cynical about the timing of announcements.

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In the space of a week, during the mid-Autumn term break for most English schools, the Government has made announcements about changes to GCSEs (exams usually taken at age 16), changes to A-levels (post16 exams usually taken by those going on to university) and new allocation figures for teacher training places from next September (see also this post about School Direct, an increasingly popular route from a school perspective).

Where does this activity leave us? Pondering the collective impact of the different measures. What type of qualified young people will we produce from our education system as a result of a ‘more rigorous’ approach to their exams and the training of their teachers increasingly being led by schools, as opposed to universities.

I’ve previously blogged about the whirlpool of educational change which has accompanied the new UK Coalition Government’s arrival in power since 2010. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with it all and it seems to fly in the face of measured, long-term education reforms that take place in other countries.

So my suggestion is that we remove a few pages from the calendar and allow more breathing space for everyone within this rushed race for educational improvement leading up to the next UK General Election in 2015. The impending PISA 2012 results, only a month away, will serve to jack up the political tension, so let’s anticipate this by trying to calm things down.

Will it happen? Who knows.

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