Michael Gove’s GCSE U-turn welcomed by York head teacher

Education Secretary Michael Gove

John Tomsett, head teacher of Huntington School

Published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

A YORK head teacher at the forefront of a national forum aimed at revolutionising school education has welcomed the Government’s U-turn on plans to abolish GCSEs.

Reacting to Education Secretary Michael Gove’s scrapping of plans to replace GCSEs with the English Baccalaureate, John Tomsett, of Huntington School, said he was glad Mr Gove had listened to the teaching profession.

He said: “I’m delighted that the Secretary of State listened and that he had the courage to admit he was wrong and, in the future, if he can listen more to the profession he might make fewer mistakes.”

As reported in The Press, Mr Gove announced on Thursday that istead of new qualifications, GCSEs will be reformed, with exams taken at the end of the course rather than in modules, extended questions and less internal assessment.

He also said GCSEs would be toughened up, taking account of results in eight subjects including English and maths, three subjects from sciences, languages, history and geography and three further subjects.

As previously reported in The Press, Mr Tomsett made national headlines as one of about ten head teachers from across the country who had joined together to form the online Head Teachers’ Roundtable. The online forum grew out of frustration with current government educational policy and the Labour opposition response to it.

The Government’s about-face means there will now be a fresh focus on what form GCSEs will take in the future and Mr Tomsett said head teachers will be keeping a keen eye on developments.

He said: “One thing I am delighted by is that instead of the arts dropping off the curriculum they are now being included and that’s a really positive move as far as I’m concerned.”

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