Ebacc and Social Mobility

moving walkway by bartb_pt (flickr)

They do say that as you get older you become more right-wing (unless you’re Tony Benn, in which case the process works in reverse).   But I didn’t think it would happen to me.  I’m not sure if I am becoming more right wing, or if Civitas, the teeth clenchingly right wing think tank is becoming more left wing.

Evidence such as their support for books like this, and a look at the usual posts on their blog suggests not.  Their use of alis data to suggest that the rising attainment of students at A Level is not a recognition of better teaching or harder work by A Level students but of a diminution of standards, is a good example of why I don’t usually find myself in agreement.

However, this morning I came across this, and nodded in agreement, well sort of.  Civitas argues that if we want more students to study ‘solid’ subjects like history, geography, languages sciences etc then the bacc might be a useful way of doing this – but not whilst it is linked to attainment.  The bacc should be measured on entry – not on the grades obtained – otherwise resources and opportunities for students to study ‘solid’ subjects will be focused on those likely to pass them and therefore likely to contribute to the school’s place on the e-bacc league tables.

I’m not sure that all students should be encouraged to do e-bacc subjects, and (pause for reflection) I’m still not sure that all should be made to study history post 14, and certainly not post 16 as some are suggesting.  However,I do think that those who do want to take it shouldn’t be forced away from history because of the requirement of schools to improve their league table performance.

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