In June 2015, the government announced that it wanted the vast majority of pupils starting secondary school this September to take GCSEs in EBacc subjects when they take their GCSEs in 2020. In November 2015, the Department for Education launched a consultation on their proposals to implement this commitment. The consultation ran from 03 Nov 2015 – 29 Jan 2016.

“It must be right that every child studies a strong academic core up until the age of 16,” said Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, “And that’s why I think every child should study maths, English, history or geography, a language and the sciences up until the age of 16. Not because I think these subjects are the only ones that matter… (but) because these subjects are the academic core, the foundations of a good education that ultimately will keep options open for young people’s future.”

While the government wants to see at least 90% of pupils in mainstream secondary schools entered for the EBacc subjects at GCSE, but recognises that taking the full EBacc will remain inappropriate for a small minority of pupils.

The consultation sought views on:

  • what factors schools should consider when deciding that a pupil shouldn’t take all the GCSE subjects for the EBacc,
  • the proposed changes to the range of data published about school performance,
  • the challenges of implementing the EBacc, including teacher recruitment, and
  • the impact of these proposals on pupils with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

After collecting the views of members about these issues, ALL submitted its own response to the consultation: 2016 ALL consultation response on EBacc.

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