Monday, 30 August 2010

The English Baccalaureat.

Over the last few years I've occasionally ranted about schools' management teams getting their most able students to drop languages and take vocational qualifications in order to boost their school's ratings in the league tables.

Before this year's general election, the Conservative Party hinted that, if elected, "GCSE equivalent" courses would no longer be counted in the league tables.

Yesterday, the UK government announced plans for a "new" qualification, the English Baccalaureat. Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education told Andrew Marr on his BBC television programme that he was worried by the decline in number of students taking GCSEs in Science and languages.

You can read about it here but the gist of it is that students who achieve good GCSE grades in English, Maths, a science, a modern language, and a humanity, will also be awarded the English Baccalaureat.

Will this stop our best students from dropping modern languages? Will school managers start to take languages seriously? Will British graduates once again be able to compete in the jobs market with their overseas counterparts?

I hope so.

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