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Science breakthrough

Exam boards and teachers were celebrating this week after the Government agreed to allow a set of vocational science courses to count in a new league table indicator. From January, league tables will also rank secondary schools on the proportion of pupils achieving a C or higher grade in two science GCSEs. Controversially, Btecs, offered by Edexcel and taken by about 15,000 pupils a year, and OCR's Nationals were excluded when this development was announced three weeks ago. Keith Milcham, a former science teacher and consultant from East Sussex, wrote to The TES to complain that the decision would discourage schools from offering the Btec. The exam boards also complained. The Department for Children, Schools and Families said on its website that including Btecs and Nationals would "give a more appropriate account" of science achievements, but the decision would be kept under review.

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