An EBacc Embarrassment

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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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Why have we had to wait 500+ days for the Department of Education to publish 2,755 responses to their consultation?

Since the 21st January 2016 – yes, 17 months ago – the Department for Education have been analysing public feedback to gauge “how to get at least 90% of pupils to take GCSEs in the EBacc subjects.” In the interim period between the consultation and the General Election (June 2017), the Conservative party have since re-adjusted this compulsory figure, from 90%, to 75% – despite no publication.

Only two weeks ago, I asked if the Department for Education were Ignoring the EBacc? The issue was fast-becoming an EBacc-embarrassment, but despite it being over 17 months, they have finally done it! The Department for Education has published the English Baccalaureate consultation.


My contacts with peers inside the House of Lords (I hope) have helped continue to raise the issue, pushing the Government to publish their findings. No doubt the recent General Election of 2017 and the period of purdah delayed publication further, but I suspect without the pressure from inside the House of Lords, we would still be waiting for news. Only two days ago, I tweeted a newspaper story from Schools Week, that highlighted that the Government had a delay on consultations totalling over EIGHT years!


In this post I offer a summary of the 2,755 responses received. Yes, that’s just 2,755 responses to read over a period of 500 days! If one compares this to the Workload Challenge consultation which received over 44,000 responses – in October 2014, the Secretary of State and Deputy Prime Minister launched the Department for Education’s online Workload Challenge, it took just 4 months(!) to read and analyse the responses, then publish the report and actions. Go figure!

In true teacher-style, I have annotated the consultation report. You can download the full publication here which includes my markings/annotations.

There is also a good summary from Schools Week.

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