General Article Adapt GCSE to be national exam at 14

Topic Selected: Education
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A proposal that the GCSE should be adapted to become a national examination for 14-year-olds is made by Professor Alan Smithers and Dr Pamela Robinson of the University of Buckingham in a report published today by the Sutton Trust, which commissioned their research comparing education systems in the 30 countries of the OECD.
Professor Smithers and Dr Robinson at the Centre for Education and Employment Research conclude that there are lessons for the new Coalition Government from international comparisons of admissions to, and the structure of, the ‘lower’ and ‘upper’ stages of secondary education.
26 of the 30 OECD countries have a clear array of pathways in the later years of schooling, spanning pre-university, technical training and preparation for employment. In the USA, Canada and New Zealand the pathways open up post school. England with its untidy mix is a conspicuous exception. The authors say that the Government could make ‘education 14-19’ a reality by moving and adapting the...

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