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Vast majority of school leaders oppose compulsory EBacc


A survey has revealed that 87 per cent of school leaders oppose the new requirement for every pupil to sit GCSEs in five English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) survey revealed widespread concern that the EBacc does not suit the needs of every pupil and does not leave enough room for creative and vocational subjects. However, 73 per cent of leaders said they would be more inclined to support the requirement if there was more flexibility in the choice of subjects. 

The reform, announced by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan in June, will apply to pupils starting secondary school from this September and will mean they must study English, maths, science, history or geography, and a language up to GCSE level. The first students affected will sit their GCSEs in 2020.

ASCL Deputy General Secretary Malcolm Trobe said: "It is clear from our survey that the vast majority of school leaders are concerned that the current proposals are too rigid and will restrict their ability to offer a curriculum which suits the needs of all their pupils. We are concerned that creative, technology and vocational subjects are in danger of being squeezed out and we must ensure there is room in the curriculum for them. 

"It needs to be recognised that the EBacc will not suit some pupils whose interests and talents may lay in other areas, and who will be demotivated by being forced to take GCSEs in which they have little interest. We hope that ministers will not therefore require that every pupil takes the EBacc and will allow that a proportion are better served by other options."