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Gove climbdown on Ebacc plans

Gove climbdown on Ebacc plans

Michael Gove has said his proposal to replace core GCSEs with an English Baccalaureate moderated by a single exam board was “a bridge too far”.

Making a statement to the House of Commons, the Education Secretary said there was “a consensus the system needs to change”, but claimed his idea had been “one reform too far”.

He took a similar line in subsequent media interviews, telling The World At One: "I bit off more than I could chew."

"As the exam regulator, Ofqual, pointed out, strengthening qualifications across the board and at the same time changing the examination market was just one reform too many. So I thought it was wise then to concentrate on where there was a consensus, and to acknowledge that having put forward this proposal, that was dear to my heart, it wasn’t appropriate now to press ahead," he told The World at One.

Mr Gove reportedly decided to withdraw the proposals after being warned that handing over core subjects to a single exam board could breach European Union rules.

Labour's Stephen Twigg said the Secretary of State had made “a humiliating climbdown”.

The reversal also comes after a damning report by the Commons Education Committee which said the changes would mean "too much, too fast".

But speaking this morning, former schools minister Nick Gibb defended the shift.

He told the Today programme Mr Gove had made the "right decision" and added that the English Baccalaureate was "only an element of the GCSE reforms".

Mr Gove was also defended on LBC Radio by Nick Clegg this morning, who praised him for listening during the plan's consultation period.

Green Box: Gove climbdown on Ebacc plansClick to open

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