Urgent Reform Needed In 11-16 Education

In December 2023 The Education for 11–16 Year Olds Committee published its report Requires improvement: urgent change for 11–16 education.

The report delves into the impact that a ‘knowledge rich’ approach has had on the educational system, which increased both curriculum content and exam-based testing.


Image Credit: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/647/education-for-1116-year-olds-committee/news/198933/urgent-reform-needed-in-1116-education-to-fully-prepare-pupils-for-the-future/

In the report, the Committee found that measuring models introduced by the Government relating to performance and assessment since 2010, has led to a restrictive education system that has emphasised core subjects and reduced opportunity for students to experience more practical and creative vocational subjects.

The report makes a case that assessing students across a period of a few weeks through GCSE exams alone across many subjects is not a fair way to assess pupil performance, and calls for the Government to reduce the amount of content in GCSE subjects, create emphasis on application of skills in real world contexts and promote a broader range of subjects taken forward at KS4 level.

After witnessing pressures on schools to prioritise core subjects, practical subjects such as art and design have experienced a huge decline in uptake from pupils entering KS4. Our aim over the last 25 years has been to improve and promote quality arts education for all and we welcome and support the key recommendations put forward by the committee.

Read the report here.