The vast majority of headteachers are against a government decision to make it compulsory for pupils to take the academic GCSEs needed to fulfil the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) performance measure. This is the finding of the Association of School and College Leaders’ (ASCL) survey of approximately 1,000 of its members.
The reform, announced by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan in June, applies to pupils who started secondary school this September and means they must study English, maths, science, history or geography, and a language up to GCSE level. These students will sit their GCSEs in 2020.
ASCL’s survey found that:
Of those who oppose the proposal:
However almost three-quarters of those who said they had concerns over the reform, agreed that more flexibility in the choice of subjects would make them more inclined to support it.
The survey also found that 74% of school leaders said that their school did not have enough teachers for the EBacc subjects, with languages causing the most difficulties.