Gazette readers have their say on future of GCSEs as educational leaders call for change

A majority of Gazette readers don’t think 16 is too young to sit assessed examinations, asking how it can be too soon for GCSEs when children have had 11 of education by the time the tests arrive.

By Candice Farrow
Monday, 16th March 2020, 6:00 am
Educational professionals polled by a teachers union said GCSE’s should be scrapped.
Educational professionals polled by a teachers union said GCSE’s should be scrapped.

GCSEs should be reformed or scrapped, according to a majority of school and college leaders polled by a teachers' union.

We asked in our Facebook poll: “Do you think children are too young at 16 to be assessed?”

More than 500 readers took part in the online vote and 67% said children are not too young to be assessed at 16.

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Here is what readers had to say:

Jacqui Keun said: “Children at 16 are almost adults and it's ridiculous to say they are too young. On the other hand, exams are not really enough to prepare students and we do need to go to the finished model, minimise exams and homework and encourage actual learning instead.”

Alan Knighting said: “How can it possibly be too soon to assess school children at the age of 16? At the age of 16 they have already had 11 years of so-called education.

“If, at age of 16, they find something difficult about the GCSE there must be something fundamentally wrong. Is the problem with the teaching they are getting? If it is then perhaps it is their teachers who should be assessed.”

Lynne Veitch said: “Old enough to leave home, get a job, join the army and even to get married, so old enough to be assessed. It’s testing for much younger pupils that should be in question.”