Posted by: John Colby | Thursday April 2 2009

You couldn’t make it up.

Having spent the last several weeks, months and years trying to get students to at least be interested in accurate mathematics then this is a real kick in the teeth. Back in 2005 Ruth Kelly, then Minister for Education, “… announced that pupils taking GCSE maths and English would have to pass a test in functional skills, such as writing a letter or working out their family budget.” (Source – BBC)

Today, at the same time that the world was waiting for the outcome of the G20 final commnique, a little bit of bad news got buried. This was “The government has dropped the key part of its pledge to improve teenagers’ functional English and maths skills” because “qualifications advisers have said that making GCSE results dependent on a separate skills test could bring the qualifications into disrepute.” (Source – BBC)

Isn’t that fairly obvious conclusion that the GCSE IS in disrepute anyway because it was originally thought necessary to have to include these skills assessments? What has happened to examinations that you can pass them without having at least a basic understanding of the subject?

Someone, somewhere, has screwed up and is failing a generation that for whom they’e supposed to be the guardians of the standards. Adn we, in universities, are having to pick up the pieces in order to generate the graduates with the talents needed to help the country on the road to recovery.


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