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Do you think Gove’s reforms have led to a two-tier system?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Education reforms designed by Michael Gove to encourage more pupils to study "academic" subjects like history have instead deepened the divide between high- and low-achieving students, researchers have claimed.

    Academics from the University of Reading and the University of Oxford said that the introduction of the English Baccalaureate and the reform of GCSEs to make them "tougher" have created a system where students with lower prior attainment are less likely to study history.

    The research found that students at schools in poorer areas were less likely to be encouraged by their school to study history unless it could demonstrate that they were likely to get good results.’

    What are your thoughts about this issue? Have you seen evidence in your school of this two-tier system? What subject do you teach? Has the popularity/take-up of your discipline at GCSE level declined since the introduction of the reforms? Are you worried about the future of your subject? Is it a good idea that the GCSE subject options are being narrowed for low-achieving students? If yes/no, why?

  2. Teslasmate

    Teslasmate Occasional commenter

    No. Gove's 'reforms' have crucified the system. It's done what privatization always does. It has driven down worker pay and conditions, driven up executive pay, made the whole system cost much more and provided a much worse product to the users. This was however entirely the intention.
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    These are Gove's structural reforms rather than the curriculum reforms that he introduced alongside the structural reforms. I'm not sure that he meant the whole system to cost more, I suspect they were aiming to save money.
    Back to the point though - like most teachers, I haven't seen inside enough schools to judge whether this is true or not. History is a fairly hard GCSE - it biases the system in favour of schools in areas where kids are able to, and interested enough to show these skills. I'm not sure that there are many schools that have ever encouraged large numbers of youngsters with "lower prior attainment" to study history.
    Golden age that never existed scenario if you ask me.
    History teachers - feel free to contradict me!
  4. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    A lot of teachers forced out by Bully Beefy Gove diversified into tutors. Who are heavily supported by the middle class parents. Not all, but a lot, so the sides continue. Also the middle class parents or poorer aspirational immigrant parents are more likely to see the value of tuition and stick with it. And Oxbridge is positively discriminating in favour of A graders from diabolical academies who somehow make it, despite all those hurdles, to selection interviews. I’d say a kid like that deserves a place plus a schaolarship. The only A level History student I coached this year who got his Oxbo orders this year attended an academy in one of the poorest parts of London. He really deserved the offer and I’m glad they saw his potential.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. Teslasmate

    Teslasmate Occasional commenter

    Got to disagree. It's fine for the system to cost more, as long as the money is funnelled into the bank accounts of Tory donors.

    As for the academic reforms, I don't know enough swear words.

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