Changing a key pillar of the education system, such as the examination regime at 16, should only be done for strong educational reasons. The current proposed changes, appear to be based on a vote winning ploy, to appease the rose tinted spectacle wearers, who yearn for the apparent greatness of the days of yore. People who generally did well out of the system.
This appears to be another example of amnesia. GCSE evolved as an exam that offered some chance of achievement to all and could genuinely stretch minds. The first tactic was to rubbish an exam, on an annual basis, that provided unwelcome possibilities of social advancement. Then, in response, introduce an exam that is narrowly academic and demands skills that are more easily honed in the quiet, well resourced and supportive sitting rooms of the middle class.The irony is that the outcome, (unsurprisingly, as this project is not based on any advice from the core of teaching opinion), is effectively a dumbing down.
Blooms Taxonomy of intellectual skills, places knowledge and understanding at the bottom of the pyramid. The higher skills, generally tested by GCSE, of application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation, are likely to be casualties in a content heavy curriculm.
So we have a change that is unwanted, unecessary, expensive, confusing, distracting, debasing and divisive.
This government, more spectacularly than most, has not even bothered to try to recognise the 50% of the population, for whom different syllabi and different assessments are needed. Instead of forcing all through a narrow gate and favouring the minority, surely we should be keeping the gate sufficiently wide for the possibility of developing the potential of all?
The only realistic opposition to a centralised administration of education, is for groups of schools, in partnership with local employers, colleges and universities, to develop locally recognised qualifications.