• Michael Gove announces radical plan to scrap GCSEs  – The Daily Mail, 20 June 2012
  • Gove forced into humiliating U-turn – the Independent, 7 Feb 2013

In June Michael Gove announced that GCSEs would be scrapped in favour of a return to O-Level style exams. The Daily Mail reported:

Proposals to axe GCSEs and return to an O-level style exams will ensure an education system that compares with most rigorous in the world, Michael Gove told MPs.

…The proposals could see less-able pupils taking simpler qualifications similar to old-style CSEs and the end of the national curriculum.

…The new exams will ‘meet or exceed the highest standards in the world for that age group’.

Today the education secretary announced a dramatic climbdown over plans to scrap GCSEs. As The Independent reports:

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, will announce a major climbdown over his controversial plans to scrap GCSEs in favour of a new English Baccalaureate. In a surprise statement in the Commons, Mr Gove will reveal that he is abandoning plans to introduce the new qualification in 2015.

GCSEs will remain, although they will be reformed in an attempt to restore confidence in them as an internationally respected qualification.

The U-turn represents a political defeat for a minister seen by some Tory MPs as a potential successor to David Cameron.

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