EBacc: Schools could have to wait until summer to see government's consultation findings

An email from a Tory MP's office suggests that a response to the government's consultation may not come for another six months

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The government's report on the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) consultation may not be published until the summer despite closing a year ago, TES understands.

Correspondence with the office of Heidi Allen, the Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire, suggests that schools will have to continue waiting for the long overdue findings.    

A number of people have contacted their MPs and the Department for Education (DfE) directly to find out what happened to the government's consultation - which closed in January last year. 

And this week, an email from Ms Allen’s parliamentary researcher shared on Twitter (see below) suggested that the response may not be published for a number of months because of the "high amount of responses". 

"Having spoken to the Department, unfortunately they were not able to give me an exact date of publication for the response of consulatation," the email says. "They suggested that it is likely to be the spring/summer 2017 but have staged  that it is taking more time because of the high number of responses the Department received."

Headteacher unions have called for the report on the consultation - which includes the government's proposal that 90 per cent of pupils should be entering EBacc from 2020– to be published urgently. 

In a recent article for TES, Suzanne O'Farrell, curriculum and assessment specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said the delay was concerning for schools whose pupils study three-year GCSE programmes.

These children, who will sit their exams in 2020, begin the courses in September and will be choosing their options next term.

A DfE spokesperson said: “We are carefully considering all contributions to the consultation and will publish our response in due course.”

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Ah, Ebacc consultation is beset with confusion & delay. Email today from MP's researcher #ebacc pic.twitter.com/uLKfFmRIeY

— Steve Watson (@SteveWatson10) January 4, 2017


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