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CSE’s plan could be scrapped, Gove suggests

Gove has hinted at dropping the CSE-style exam from his reforms for the exam system, following significant opposition to the plans.

Proposals to abolish GCSE’s and reinstate O Levels and CSE exams were criticised by many for segregating less academic children at an early age and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said they would lead to a “two-tier system”.

The education secretary stated that he expects every child to have the opportunity to take the tougher O Level exam and that they could take it later in their school lives if necessary.

Speaking at a Spectator conference inLondonon Tuesday, Gove said: “I want us to ensure that in the next 10 years, at least 80% of our young people are on course to securing good passes in properly testing exams in maths, English and science - more rigorous than those our children sit now.

“This goal, while explicitly ambitious, is also entirely achievable. InSingaporethe exams designed for 16-year-olds embody all those virtues and are taken successfully by 80% – and rising – of the population.

“I think one of the most debilitating things in our entire education system has been the idea that you make judgements early in a child’s career about what they're fit for.

“And I think one of the things we need to do is to make sure that hopefully by the age of 16, but if not at 16 then at 17 or 18, that a child is equipped with the level of qualifications to make those choices themselves.”

Later on Tuesday at an opposition day debate in the Commons, Gove added: “I’ve ruled out any two-tier system, I want a one-tier system...we will have one qualification for all pupils.”

No details of Gove’s planned reforms have yet been published by the Government. Officials say details will be given within the next two months and will be subject to consultation.

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