MP welcomes change

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BEVERLEY MP Graham Stuart welcomed news that the Government had listened to widespread concerns and decided not to move forward with plans to introduce English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs) in place of GCSEs in some subjects.

This announcement follows last week’s Education Select Committee report that found the Government had not yet made the case for abolishing GCSEs and replacing them with EBCs. The report made it clear that a cross party group of MPs had concerns about the proposed timetable for change and felt the Government was trying to do too much too fast by introducing a new qualification, requiring a step-change in standards, and altering the way exams are administered all at the same time.

Mr Stuart said, “It is great news that the Government has listened to concerns about introducing a new qualification. This is exactly the way that good public policy gets made. The best way to have a constructive debate is for the Government to put forth a proposal, like it did on EBCs, have a rigorous discussion, and then change policy in response to the feedback received.

“Michael Gove deserves credit, not criticism, for being willing to listen and develop an educational legacy that can last. If the previous Government had been willing to do this we could have avoided the issues we had around the Diploma.

“The announcement is an example of the increasing importance and influence Select Committees can have on policy development. The Secretary of State has listened to the Education Select Committee’s views and I am pleased to see that he will be consulting with the field on the best way to improve accountability in secondary schools as well.”

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