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English baccalaureate 'could lead to return of two-tier system'

11/03/2011 Joanna
The recently introduced English baccalaureate qualification could lead to the return of a two-tier education system, it has been suggested.

In a speech this weekend, shadow education secretary Andy Burnham will tell the Association of School and College Leaders' annual conference that the coalition is bringing in grammar schools by the back door with the "elitist" baccalaureate qualification, the Guardian reports.

"There is no coherent logic or evidence for the selection of subjects in the English bac.," he will say.

"It appears to be based on what Michael Gove enjoyed at school and fails to value the arts, technology, business or economics. I got into Cambridge – but I wouldn't have got the English bac."

Mr Burnham is also expected to criticise the government's decision to introduce the qualification retrospectively last year.

"Headteachers are rightly furious that they are being judged retrospectively on something they did not know about. Gove seems intent on rubbishing their achievements and damaging their reputations as he sends them out into the dog-eat-dog world he is creating," he will say.

To meet the criteria for the qualification, GCSE students must gain five or more A*-C grades in English, maths, a science, foreign language and a humanities subject.

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