Sounds like a good idea. I have to say that I quite like the US system (if done well) where schools are accredited, and teachers write and teach the courses which leads to students gaining credits that go towards a High School diploma. I really like flexibility - which if you are going to ask for the vast majority of students to go through a largely academic route seems the way forward. Asking all kids to do Gove's GCSEs just seems like utter cruelty to me. Yes, if you get rid of the English NC's 'teach by numbers' approach, then you do have to allow time for preparation.