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Hampshire teens to sit GCSEs for final time in 2016
A new qualification, the English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBacc), will take its place, the Government announced yesterday.
It comes after the controversial remarking of GCSE English papers that saw more than 130 teenagers in Southampton miss out on the vital C grade they had been expecting, as revealed yesterday by the Daily Echo.
Ministers said the EBacc would mean more “rigorous” exams and give each child an equal opportunity.
But critics fear the beefed-up regime would cast aside youngsters who could not succeed in the core subjects.
The new qualification will scrap the retaking of “modules”, reduce coursework and bring back tough end-of-year exams.
Children of all abilities will take the EBacc and there will be only one exam board for each subject, in order to prevent competition between boards to deliver tests which are easier to pass.
Students will begin sitting the new qualification in 2015, after the next General Election .
MPs were told about the shake-up by education Secretary Michael Gove in |the House of Commons last night.
But the Tory MP said he would be looking for guarantees on the date of students who are “not among the brightest in class”, those with special educational needs and how non-core subject would be recognised.
“There’s a very clear commitment to a solid benchmark which people will be able to rely on.”
He said: “Everyone is in favour of raising standards, but the danger is that this will take us backwards to a time when only a minority of students were expected to succeed.” Education Secretary Michael Gove told MPs: “It is time for the race to the bottom to end. We believe it is time to tackle grade inflation and dumbing down. We believe it is time to raise aspirations and restore rigour.”