Don't let qualifications dominate the debate

28th September 2012 at 01:00

As the discussion surrounding the effectiveness of a single qualification to replace the GCSE continues, I am concerned that it has knocked the more pertinent debate off course.

The focus on changes to the GCSE framework is about assessment. It is not about education. While more than 22 per cent of young people in England are achieving the highest GCSE grades, the greater issue remains that almost a third of students are not gaining five GCSEs at A*-C including English and maths. How will the removal of continuous assessment promote the motivation of young people not suited to academia?

It is time the education system realised that a singularly academic path for the 14-plus age group is not fit for purpose. Evidence demonstrates the economic, cultural and societal value of a system that places equal importance on vocational and academic education. A knee-jerk reaction to grade inflation only serves to increase the distance from success for those young people who thrive by learning differently.

Asha Khemka, Principal and chief executive, West Nottinghamshire College.

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