Gove’s latest intrusion – I-levels
Originally posted by Peter Inson at 09:33, June 5 2013
If the Secretary of State’s proposal for new school exams does not push teachers and parents over the edge nothing will.
For decades, both major parties have entreated us to acknowledge the importance of market forces as the way to make best use of resources, and of parental choice as a means of making the best of our schools. Yet when there is a chance of impressing voters politicians ignore their own polemic and impose monopolies of their own creating.
Let schools and parents choose whatever they can agree is best for the young people who depend upon them and for whom they are answerable in ways that no Secretary of State for Education is ever answerable. Let them use traditional O-levels which are still available, if they wish, or concoct something else which they will believe will be trusted by employers and universities. If, as some people maintain, to do so is to break the law then break the law – what is more important, our children or matters imposed by politicians so many of whom make sure that their children do not attend schools provided for other people’s children?
In 1986 I indicated to the exam board whose O-level papers I had marked that I had no interest in an appointment as an “enabler,” negotiating course-work grades between a group of schools and the board. I went on to mark A-level papers and then International Baccalaureate papers before writing an English language text book for the IGCSE. For several years I taught pupils from all over the world; none of them, or their parents would have given GCSE a second look. UK parents and schools should adopt the same approach to anything emanating from Whitehall.
Mr Gove should stick to his one potential success – free schools, where parents are expected to take more responsibility and a greater interest in their children’s upbringing. When he strays from that pathway to educational virtue, parents and teachers should ensure that his platitudes encounter deaf ears and cussed opposition