'One reform too far' comment

Thursday 7th February 2013

Queen Anne’s welcomes Education Secretary, Michael Gove’s, U-turn on plans to scrap GCSEs in key subjects in England and replace them with an English Baccalaureate Certificate.

Headmistress, Mrs Julia Harrington, says:

“Mr Gove has made the right decision to abandon the planned changes to the GCSE system in England and replace them with an English Baccalaureate certificate.  The Education Secretary has listened to the experts and while we support his initiative to make our education system more rigorous, less modular and re-take focused, changing the whole examination system was not the solution.

At Queen Anne’s we believe education is about developing intellectual character.  In this fast-paced society where information is available anytime, everywhere at the click of a button, it is our job as educators to provide children with the skills to think intelligently and provide strategies that shape effective inquiry and encourage independent thinking.  Our children need to be able to synthesise, analyse and apply knowledge to make good and ethical decisions.

Changes to league tables are also welcomed. At Queen Anne’s we promote a ‘no limits’ approach to our girls’ learning and feel the current league tables encourage schools to admit only the brightest students rather than celebrating the achievements of each individual child.  The reported proposals focus more on measuring the value added to students, meaning that schools and the pupils themselves are judged on their achievements, in effect celebrating their individual success – a powerful message in empowering the next generation and encouraging our children to reach for the top and achieve their best.”


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