Scrap GCSEs, says Sir Michael Wilshaw

Former head of Ofsted suggests extensive changes to education and assessment in interview with the Times

Rethinking Assessment Team

In a wide-ranging interview with the Times, former head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has called for GCSEs to be scrapped.

According to the paper:

“He would also like to see 100 per cent of school-leavers staying in education, whether pursuing degrees or apprenticeships, for GCSEs to be scrapped and for bright pupils to be able to take five or six A-levels over a four-year period.”

The article proceeds to report his view that:

“Children should be assessed at 14 or 15 not only on core subjects but also on their ability to be courteous, punctual, work in a team and show leadership qualities. This would focus attention on the first few years of secondary school and address the slide in standards after primary that is seen in many areas, he said.

“From 14 to 18, pupils would take academic or vocational subjects, or a mixture of the two. ‘In those three or four years, we can expand the curriculum,’ Wilshaw says: ‘We need to do a lot more in terms of business engagement, work experience, personal and social development for youngsters’.

“’If you know you want to go to university you study three A-levels — why not six and you’d have longer to do it? It would allow you to study a broader range of subjects at a higher level.’”

Read the full interview.

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