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Did You Know?

Did you know that as a result of the Coalition Government’s English Baccalaureate, many secondary schools are now limiting or removing completely the ability of pupils to access important GCSE subjects including ICT, design and technology, art and music?

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English Baccalaureate

The English Baccalaureate or E-Bac has been introduced by the Government with two main aims – to get more pupils studying a “broad core” of subjects and to boost take-up of history, geography and languages.

The E-Bac is not a qualification but is simply a measurement of the number of the number of pupils who get A* to C at GCSE in English, mathematics, science, a language and history or geography. Schools’ performance on the E-Bac is being measured in the league tables.

There are some serious concerns about the impact that the introduction of the E-Bac is having on schools and pupils:

  • Narrowing the curriculum - schools are putting more resources into E-Bac subjects as a result of its inclusion in the league tables. This is squeezing out time for other subjects such as ICT, technology, art, music and drama;
  • Restricting pupil choice - some schools are restricting the subjects pupils can choose to study at GCSE to those included in the E-Bac. This could have a serious impact on children’s future life chances and career opportunities;
  • Pupil disengagement - the E-Bac encourages schools to adopt a highly traditional curriculum which may not be right for all students. This increases the risk of pupil disengagement with education and prevents schools meeting the needs of all pupils;