Headteachers speak out over exam shake-up

John Senior, headteacher of George Pindar School.
John Senior, headteacher of George Pindar School.

Scarborough headteachers have raised concerns over Government plans to axe GCSE exams in favour of a tougher English Baccalaureate Certificate.

The shake-up, unveiled by Education Secretary Michael Gove on Monday, will mean a single end-of-course exam and one exam board for core subjects.

Pupils beginning secondary school this year will take the first new exams - in English, maths and sciences - in 2017.

John Senior, headteacher of George Pindar School, said the exam system was in urgent need of an overhaul but was critical of plans to scrap coursework.

He said: “Issues arise when you start to say there is only one way of testing children as they don’t all learn in the same way or at the same speed.”

Scarborough College headteacher Isobel Nixon said changing to a single exam board for core subjects should bring greater clarity to what is being taught and to what standard. However, she said she remained cautious over the political motivation behind the move.

David Read, headteacher of Scalby School, said schools were used to meeting the challenge of constant changes to qualifications and looked forward to seeing the plans develop.