The "English Bac" Why 5 out of 6 pupils are failing according to the government

22 February 2011

What is the English Bac?

The English Bac is awarded to GCSE pupils who achieve a C grade or above in Maths, English, a science, a foreign language and a humanity (ie history/geography). It is not an extra exam but rather a push by the government to put more importance on the subjects listed above.

Here at Create A Test we always have different views about government policy in education. However there are normally things we do agree about too. We are sure that though the focus on traditional subjects seems like an excellent idea in principal it does have some flaws. A list of possible flaws are included below:

  • The new English Bac only been achieved by 1 in 6 pupils. 5 out of 6 pupils shouldn’t be considered to be failing pupils by any target. This is not helpful to anyone. The 1 out of 6 that make this target are not going to be any more motivated by receiving the English Bac.
  • How have we decided on what subjects which are important? This is probably the most worrying thing about the current policy. By telling pupils certain subjects are very important pupils can easily infer what subjects aren’t important! Is ICT no longer important? If you’re good at Physics and Biology is Chemistry not important?
  • The focus once again on the C grade (but now in more subjects) will mean school resources are used on the C/D borderline pupils even more. Those in this category will get more focus than both the B/A/A* pupils and also the G/F/E pupils.

Does Create A Test have a better solution?

It is the opinion of this writer that focus should remain on the progress of the pupils. A school that takes 100 excellent primary school pupils and gets them all C grades should not be thought to be doing better than a school that takes 100 struggling pupils and gets all of them D grades. Getting schools and the government to focus on helping children progress this would be a real achievement.

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