Looking forward to Clegg’s apology

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JIM Tighe, of Hartlepool Liberal Democrats, welcomes the English baccalaureate dreamed up by the Coalition (Mail, September 20).

He says: “The new qualification is designed for children whatever their ability level.”

He is wrong. Education Secretary Michael Gove admitted during parliamentary questions that a significant proportion of pupils will not enter the exam and of those who do many will fail.

Mr Tighe goes on, EBaccs will “stretch those at the top but not place a cap on the aspiration of the less able”.

This is nonsense.

If an exam is too difficult for most children that acts as a cap on aspiration.

Mr Tighe suggests “there will be no cap on top grades”.

Well that will be news to Mr Gove who has specifically not ruled that out and whose major criticism of the present system 
is its high proportion of top grades.

The whole point of the new system is to restrict entry to a small elite and the top grades to a tiny percentage.

So the EBaccs which Mr Clegg promised would not be two tier are exactly that.

Every year thousands of young people will leave school with no qualifications.

Vocational awards will clearly be seen as second best and the Government has actually planned to revive the ludicrously demeaning Record of Achievement.

I can already hear the hollow laugh rumbling around the school staff rooms as teachers remember this wheeze from yesteryear.

Most pupils dumped their ROAs straight into the bin, employers found them worthless.

The Coalition is intent upon a back of the fag packet scheme.

Teachers, parents, universities and pupils have been ignored.

We can look forward to Mr Clegg’s apology, set to music, with Mr Tighe in close harmony.

Rob Meggs,

Forester Close,

Hartlepool.