New Baccalaureate to replace GCSEs

The government has unveiled a new English Baccalaureate Certificate for 16-year-olds in England to replace GCSEs in 2017. Will your kids be affected?

Deputy prime minster, Nick Clegg, and education secretary, Michael Gove, have unveiled a brand new exam system for 16-year-olds in England, which will see GCSEs being replaced with Euroupean-style English Baccalaureate Certificates and tougher exams for English, maths, science, languages and humanities subjects.

How will the new English Baccalaureate Certificates affect my child?

2015 year 10 students will be the first to study for the new English Baccalaureate Certificates exams, and will be sitting them in 2017.

What will change?

It's thought that the new exams will benefit kids who don't perform well under the pressure of the continual assessment GCSE process of lots of module exams, however when the new English Baccalaureate Certificates are introduced, GCSEs will be replaced with tougher, three-hour final exams, coursework will be reduced and retakes will be scrapped.

Although the exams are expected to become more difficult, the government are also raising the school leaving age to 18, which means students could train for longer for their chosen subjects and still leave school with a qualification.

Why are GCSEs being scrapped?

The government felt that our current exams needed a makeover after GCSE pass rates in 2012 fell for the first time ever since 1988 and debate that English exam papers were too harshly graded caused some papers to be re-marked. The government have also announced plans for just one exam board per subject, in the hope of changing the opinions of those saying GSCE test papers are becoming too easy.

Mr Clegg spoke about what parents and students can look forward to in the new exam changes and said: 'Firstly give parents confidence in the exams their children are taking, secondly raise standards for all our children in schools in the country but thirdly and crucially not exclude any children from the new exam system.'

What do you think of the new English Baccalaureate Certificates

? Will your child be sitting them? Let us know in our comments section below or join our chat on facebook.

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Freelance writer