Commenting on remarks by Robert Halfon MP that GCSEs should be scrapped and A-Levels replaced with a baccalaureate system,

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“GCSEs were designed at a time when it was usual for students to leave school at 16. However times have changed and the education system should change to reflect this. As students are expected to remain in full time education or training until 18 the need for high-stakes qualifications at 16 does not exist.

“Furthermore, the National Education Union has long called for routes which encompass both academic and technical options for students and this is a recommendation we strongly support.

"Heading towards qualifications which enable flexibility between vocational and academic pathways at the end of full-time education is a sensible and welcome suggestion, more suitable for modern times.  Such a change would need to be planned for and introduced with the full involvement of the profession.”

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