Thursday, 21 June 2012

A three tier education system?

by Mark Corney

The shock announcement by education secretary Michael Gove to replace GCSEs with O-level and CSE style examinations at 16 has raised the spectre of a two-tier education system.

O-levels for the academically bright and CSEs for the academically challenged is the masterplan.

Separating the academically able from the academically challenged at 14 will ensure bright kids from poor backgrounds study the right O-levels, staying-on at the same school to study the right A-levels to enter the best universities.

The problem, of course, is that most pupils from poor backgrounds would be channelled at 14 into taking the lower level CSE-style courses.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Free Meals and Social Mobility

by Mark Corney

Nothing explains the bias of the political class in England towards social mobility than free schools meals and entry into full-time higher education at 18.

Bright 16 year olds from poor families who stay-on in school sixth forms are eligible for free school meals.

By contrast, bright 16 year olds from poor families who stay-on at general FE colleges are not entitled to free meals.