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New Look GCSEs, No Coursework: What Will This Mean For Disabled Children In Mainstream Schools?

June 11, 2013

Readers, I have just found out that later today, new-look GCSEs for schools in England are to be unveiled, with exams graded from eight to one rather than A* to G.

There will be no coursework, except for Science, where pupils will be tested on practical aspects of the subject.

Readers, Michael Gove has been trying to reform GCSEs since September last year. He has always said that in any new qualification, there would be less emphasis on coursework.

Last year, when Michael Gove announced the first of these ideas, the English Baccalaureate, I wrote here  on what a lack of coursework at GCSE level would mean for disabled children, and children with special educational needs, in mainstream schools. Rather than repeat myself, I’ll link to it below.

Then, in February this year, Gove made a U-turn on the EBC. However, it was made clear to the public at the time that there would still be less emphasis placed on coursework in any new GCSE level qualification.

Now that plans for new GCSEs are to be confirmed, with the first exam courses to start from 2015, my worries about the lack of coursework at GCSE level have returned and are stronger than ever.

It seems that it is now too late to stop these reforms. However, I would hope that the Government will consider very carefully what the reforms to GCSEs would mean for students with Special Educational Needs in mainstream education.  I hope that this will be clarified to the public at the earliest opportunity.

Reforms to GCSEs may be required, but the Government must ensure that once reformed, the qualifications remain fully accessible to candidates with special educational needs and physical disabilities. Otherwise, I, for one, fear that my worst fears will come true, and that we might be taken back several years, to a time when even those disabled children who had the intelligence were prevented from sitting age appropriate exams.

Readers, that would be a great shame.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. rainbowwarriorlizzie permalink
    June 11, 2013 3:47 pm



  1. The Child Of 12 With More Sense Than Michael Gove | Same Difference

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