Overhauling Our Education System!
This week I was happy to defend the Education Secretary over the leaked plan to overhaul secondary school exams.
I believe that Michael Gove was right to point out that the current system has become fragmented, exam results inflated, and Britain's international educational rankings had slumped.
The leak which last week provoked a political storm was not an announcement, but a departmental leak. We have yet to see the details but any changes were to be part of a 12 week consultation this autumn. What cannot be denied is that the present system is letting kids down.
Everyone accepts that action is needed to ensure that pupils are helped to realise their full potential. Mr Gove's main drive is to "put rigour and consistency back into the education system."
The demand for such an overhaul was coming from business and academia. We have fallen considerably behind in the international league tables. When you look at the OECD figures in 2011 and see that we have gone from seventh to 25th in reading, from eighth to 28th in maths and from fourth to 16th in science, you know something has to be done.
If Mr Gove's plan goes ahead, students would begin studying "tougher" O-level style exams in English, maths and the sciences from September 2014. They would take their exams in 2016.
Despite threats of a split within the coalition I hope the Liberal Democrats would see the need for change.