GCSE science conundrum

5th December 2008 at 00:00

Apparently, GCSE physics and chemistry results will not count in performance tables as science qualifications. According to the Department for Children, Schools and Families, these qualifications do not allow students access to all three science subjects at A-level and therefore must be discounted. Just, who is providing the DCSF with such advice?

At our school, we decided to complete the core science course in Year 10 and offer students a choice of any two separate sciences (physics, chemistry or biology) or additional science in Year 11. It is widely accepted that the separate science courses provide a far better preparation for A-level, which is why we also offer triple science for students who wish to take all three disciplines. This offer has proved to be extremely successful, gaining us outstanding results and an increased uptake of all three sciences at A-level.

According to the DCSF, any results gained outside of additional science and triple science will not count in our performance table figures. Surely, this kind of ridiculous ruling cannot be allowed to continue without challenge? Policies are meant to provide a framework for success, not a stranglehold on initiative.

N Christou, Headteacher, East Barnet School, Hertfordshire.

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