Retro decision will give most of us Bac pain

17th December 2010 at 00:00

Imagine the scene: the first day of the Premier League season in August, Manchester United v Chelsea. United win 1-0, Chelsea have two goals correctly ruled out for being offside. Fast forward to December: United are informed, out of the blue, that Fifa has changed the offside laws and that the new rules will be applied retrospectively. Chelsea are now awarded the August match, United lose three points and slip down the league table. Nothing like that could happen, surely?

We are aware of the English Baccalaureate, and as a linguist I welcome the increased focus on languages as part of the suite of subjects. I fail to understand, however, why it is being introduced now, in such haste, and why retrospectively. How can it be fair that schools are measured against an indicator of which they had no knowledge when the results were achieved?

The only schools that will benefit in the short term will be those in leafy, middle-class suburbs where languages have been preserved because they are seen as an aspirational thing to do. Already one colleague has said that applying the new Bac to their 2010 results reduces them to 19 per cent - and that's in a language college.

One can only suspect dark forces at work. Is it because the schools that will slip down the league tables will become more vulnerable to hostile takeover as academies or free schools?

John Connor, Independent consultant, MFL, Stourport-on-Severn.

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