Information about my work as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Gove's Exams fiasco

My colleague Cllr Anne Hutton (Woodhouse) is our spokesperson on Education and Childrens' Services, and has released a very good statement on Michael Gove's recent decisions on GCSE exams, which have enraged teachers.

"Secondary Headteachers in Barnet this week have been in a quandary, wondering what to do about the latest missive from Education Secretary Michael Gove who has just decreed that only the results of the first exam attempt by a pupil in any subject should count towards the schools’ league tables.
As usual, this latest announcement has not been thought through at all, students have been entered for exams in November, time-tables set and parents written to.  He has also, at the drop of a hat, scrapped the speaking and listening elements of the English language GCSE from next June, so unless students sit the exam in November credit for that won’t count.  Some parents have already received letters from their child’s school cancelling exams they thought their children would be sitting next month.  Schools, which have decided to go ahead have received phone calls from anxious parents of children in other schools asking them if they could sit exams at their school.  The reply to which is presumably ‘no’ as the student would not be registered there.  Result: chaos
Things can always be improved upon but throwing the baby out with the bathwater isn’t the answer, the Education Secretary clearly has no knowledge of how schools work, which is worrying in itself, if he thinks initiatives can be taken up or scrapped at the drop of a hat.  Do our three MPs support these measures? I am happy if the Tories lose the next election with the assistance of Michael Gove – but please not at the expense of the life chances of our young people.
Cllr. Anne Hutton
Labour Spokesperson for Education and Childrens’ Services"