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Gove to push English Baccalaureate again tomorrow

by Paul Goodman

GOVE MICHAEL RED TIE Michael Gove is to make a speech at an Academy tomorrow connected to his appearance on the Andrew Marr Show today.  A common theme of both is the possibility of an English Baccalaureate.  Gove said on Marr -

“We’ve been thinking hard about how we can transform the accountability systems, the league tables, the whole qualifications structure in this country.  We’re going to have a white paper which will come out this autumn, which will explain some of the ideas that we think are worth piloting.   But there’s one in particular that I’m very attracted by and that’s the idea of learning from other countries, where they have a baccalaureate-style system.
 
“European countries and, for that matter, Asian countries, require all students, whether they’re going on to academic or vocational study afterwards, to ensure that by the age of 16, they have a core of academic knowledge which they can be comfortable about.  I’d like to explore us setting up something similar here, a sort of English baccalaureate and what that would involve is saying to students you should be thinking about studying GCSE English, Maths, a science, a modern or ancient foreign language and a humanity like History, Geography, Art or Music..."
 
“We encourage people to follow the courses that stimulate them, that broaden the mind.  But if you get five GCSE passes in each of those areas, I think you should be entitled to special recognition and that’s why I think the idea of creating, as it were, an English baccalaureate to signal that you’ve secured those five GCSE passes, that you have got the broad, rounded education … in terms of what would have been a school leaving certificate.”

The Education Secretary said that he was concerned about the overall drop in the number of pupils studying foreign languages and the fall last year in the number studying science. "In the last year, at GCSE, we actually saw fewer people doing science and that really concerns me, not just because it’s bad for our economic position in the future, it actually is depriving young people of the thing that they should get from education, which is a rounded sense of how to understand this world in all its complexity and richness".

Gove's speech tomorrow will apparently range beyond the baccalaureate into the Government's education policy as a whole, and will be connected with that excellent organisation, Teach First.

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