EBacc will be more challenging – higher goal post for measuring success at GCSE


The goal post for measuring success at GCSE moved – the EBacc will be more challenging

I saw an article about the new yardstick for measuring success at GCSE level. The article was a little alarming as it highlights that the government has raised the barrier for measuring success for 16 year olds. It is about the EBacc (English Baccalaureate) and the new GCSE grades of 9 to 1, which comes into effect from next summer. I have written about both the EBacc and the new 9 to 1 grades in the past. The EBacc is not that new, as it was introduced by Michael Gove when he was the Education Secretary in 2010. As I read the article further, I realised that there is a very strong reason for teachers and their students to be concerned indeed, which is the reason I have decided to write about this important point in this blog.

The people who will benefit most from my new article are those parents whose sons and daughters are younger than 17 and who will be in Y11 or lower in September. All parents with children in secondary school – with the exception of those who have already finished GCSE – will benefit immediately. The reality is, GCSEs are starting earlier and earlier in schools and studying the GCSE curriculum is no longer confined to KS4 – the last two years of pre-sixteen education. In fact, some schools start as early as Y8 or even Y7. Another fact you also want to bear in mind is that teachers pigeonhole students at an earlier stage and some young people who are perfectly capable of doing well at a higher tier of study are being excluded from that at an early stage. Two examples of this are: students who are capable of doing the higher tier but are being put into the foundation tier; and many who would have done well in EBacc subjects are not being entered for all the EBacc subjects.

If your child is 16 or older and is going to be starting post-sixteen studies – A-level, BTEC, GNVQ and so on – in September, this article may not directly help you unless you are just interested in keeping an eye on what is going on with younger pupils in the education system.

In my article today, I highlight what the issues are and explain the new bench line the government have imposed. I briefly define what the EBacc is and also explain how the government are linking the EBacc to the new 9 to 1 grades. In addition, I have links for you to a couple of videos and past blogs that explain both the new 9 to 1 grade and the EBacc.

Here is the link to my article about EBaac –


Enjoy reading the articles and watching the video. Please do not forget to leave a comment afterwards.