I have just signed a petition to Michael Gove asking him to slow down on introducing the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). As Fiona Millar has pointed out in The Guardian there is growing unease at the pace at which the changes are being made, describing it as ‘an omnifiasco’.
But what are the reforms that Mr Gove is seeking to rush through? He wants GCSEs in EBacc subjects to be replaced by English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs). The EBacc would consist of five core subjects – maths, English, sciences, a language and history or geography. The EBacc would not include any vocational education or arts subjects. Creative and vocational subjects, vital to the cultural and economic health of our nation would be treated as after-thoughts.
The Department for Education’s consultation closed on 10 December. The fear is that the consultation exercise was too limited and that decisions to move ahead are being made with indecent haste.
The National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Head Teachers decided to launch a petition on the matter in December. It is now supported by all the teaching unions and many leading figures in the Labour Party. Three former Secretaries of State for Education (Alan Johnson, David Blunkett and Estelle Morris) have signed as have Stephen Twigg, Jim Knight, Kevin Brennan, Beverley Hughes and many others. A full list of prominent signatories can be found here
I hope you will take a minute to sign the petition and join the chorus of voices asking Mr Gove to think again.
Labour councillor and secondary school teacher