Conservative MP Calls For GCSEs To Be Scrapped

11 February 2019, 09:50 | Updated: 26 March 2019, 10:01

The chair of the Education Select Committee believes GCSEs should be scrapped to better prepare children for a working life.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon wants to rewrite England's exam system to give young people a much broader range of skills.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, Mr Halfon described GCSEs as "pointless".

He said: "Firstly, most young people stay at school to 18, where they used to leave at 16, so that's why he had first O-Levels, then GCSEs.

"Secondly, we have a huge skills deficit. We're way behind in the OECD tables in terms of skills, numeracy, literacy, problem-solving.

"And the third thing is we've got the march of the robots coming, which suggests that 46% of jobs may be lost by young people - 50million jobs at risk according to the Bank of England. Our businesses are saying we don't have the skills necessary for the 21st century.

Could GCSEs be a thing of the past?
Could GCSEs be a thing of the past? Picture: PA

"So what I'm suggesting is, while there might be some testing at 16, we should really have a Baccalaureate at 18, with a much wider range of subjects.

"Instead of just three A-Levels, you'd have technical, creative, practical subjects and you would look at how we could make the curriculum fit for the 21st century.

"There are 140 countries around the world who have a wider curriculum at 18."

Mr Halfon pointed to the huge drop in pupils taking Design And Technology or other creative subjects: "This is a real problem, because of the kind of world we are about to enter into.

"I want people to do much more vocational education, more people to do apprenticeships."