Less than one in four teachers are in favour of ‘Gove levels’

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Less than a quarter of teachers in England (22%) support the Government’s plans to scrap GCSEs in favour of the new English Baccalaureate (EBacc) qualification, and half (50%) oppose the change, according to a YouGov survey.

The survey, which tracks the opinions of teachers from a representative sample of UK schools, comes on the heels of a recent YouGov public opinion poll which found that a plurality (39%) of UK adults support the new exam system, and 32% are opposed to the EBacc.

Looking at specific measures included in the exams reform, the survey found that teachers and the public are quite close in their views of the reforms.

With the current GCSE system, students’ marks are based on a final exam as well as on controlled assessment (coursework done during the year under exam conditions), but under the EBacc system marks will be based only on final exams.

The research revealed that 74% of teachers in England are against this change, and believe that marks should be based on a combination of a final exam and coursework, while only 23% are in favour of the reform.

Meanwhile, the YouGov public opinion poll found that 64% of the public prefer the old system of combining final exams and coursework, and only 28% support the change to basing marks solely on a final exam.

There was strong support amongst both teachers (77%) and the public (82%) for the Government’s plans to abolish the practice of allowing schools to choose from multiple exam boards, in favour of a single exam board under the new system.

Commenting on the findings, YouGov Associate Director Ian Neale said: “The results of this survey clearly show that at the moment Michael Gove has a steep hill to climb in terms of getting teachers onside with his vision of the exam system. While it would appear the public are basically on the fence about ‘Gove levels’, teachers are on the frontline of education in England, so their fairly decisive opposition to the reforms could be problematic for the Government in pushing through real change. There is some convincing to be done."

School Leadership Today
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