Michael Gove's U turn on EBacc exams is welcome.


Yesterday, Michael Gove announced plans to scrap the English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBacc), intended to replace the current GCSE system way of examining.

I welcome the U turn. Whilst I believe that it remains true that we need to reform the system of examinations taken by children at 16, I do not believe that the original proposed plans of introducing the EBacc was the correct approach.

My concerns were shared and expressed across the board by many influential figures from the world of the arts and creative industry, and faced harsh criticism from us Lib Dems, the teaching unions, the education select committee and the qualifications watchdog Ofqual.

It is my belief that it threatened a broad and balanced education. Some arts subjects were being downgraded, with a focus on what was deemed to be traditional, core subjects. It would have seen the exclusion of art, music and drama.

Being a member of the select committee for Culture, Media and Sport, I have seen the important role that creative subjects play in our lives, how it creates growth and jobs for the economy and to have limited the access of these subjects in schools would have been harmful to the many creative industries.

It is in the interest of all pupils to have an examination system that is diverse enough to include subjects from a variety of different topics. The EBacc challenged just that, which is why the revised reforms are a positive compromise.


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