the embarrassing reverse on the EBC and franchising policy last month. But it is still expected that exam boards will have to bid for a licence to run exams in each subject.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of heads' union the NAHT, said: "It is good news. It is pleasing that they have listened to the weight of opinion and evidence that has been put before them. It is also important to make sure that all the subjects that make a broad and balanced curriculum are adequately catered for. That is a positive step forward."
GCSEs will stay but will be radically reformed from 2015, with the first exams to be sat in 2017.
Under the new plans:
*Exams will be linear and taken at the end of two years, with the end of bite-sized modules
*Extended writing questions will be introduced to subjects such as English and history, with more problem-solving in maths and science;
*All pupils will answer the same harder questions
*But the very brightest, on course for A grades, will be expected to take more challenging extension papers in maths and science
Mr Gove is also reported to be unveiling a new "knowledge-based" National Curriculum. It will include a focus on multiplication tables and mental arithmetic in maths; grammar, punctuation, spelling and pre-20th Century literature in English; and a clear chronology of British and world events in history.
In computing, references to how technology has changed lives will go, but children from five will be taught how to be safe online. There will be less emphasis on using simple software packages and more on practical experience of programming languages and understanding the fundamental principles of computer science. Primary pupils will be expected to design and write computer programmes.
In science there will be more practical work and emphasis on maths. Evolution will be compulsory for primary pupils for the first time.
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