GCSE shake up receives mixed views

Education Secretary Michael Gove who announced the plans
Education Secretary Michael Gove who announced the plans

Education professionals in Calderdale are questioning the introduction of the new exams set to replace GCSEs.

The English Baccalaureate will be introduced in schools from 2015 with the first examinations being taken in 2017.

It will see the removal of modular exams, a move introduced as part of the old style GCSEs, following criticism of this year’s marking which saw an alteration in grade boundaries in June compared to January.

Jonathan Brownlie, deputy head at Crossley Heath School, said: “We’ve still got GCSE students taking the exams for the next few years so it’s important these aren’t undermined. A lot of the changes that are being brought in were already happening as part of GCSEs.”

Rob Marsh, vice principal at Trinity Academy, believes the new exams could be beneficial. He said: “Trinity Academy already offers the Baccalaureate certificate for students.

“Change is a natural part of everyday life, including in education where developments in practice and standards are crucial in making sure that schools meet the needs of students.”

Sue McMahon, of Calderdale NUT, said: “I believe this has been done to masquerade the fiasco over English GCSEs - it’s all a smokescreen.”