A Labour candidate standing in the forcoming Manchester Central by-election is criticising Michael Gove’s proposal to scrap GCSEs in favour of O-level exams.
Lucy Powell, who has been shadowing outgoing Manchester Central MP Tony Lloyd, joined Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in condeming the Secretary of Sate for Education’s plan to reform secondary school education.
Ms Powell told MM that she thought there are better ways to ‘push people to the top’.
The ex-campaign manager for Labour Leader Ed Miliband added: “I disagree with going back to an era where some are told that they can only reach so far.”
Ms Powell is not alone in her criticism of Mr Gove’s plans.
Nick Clegg, speaking from the UN conference on sustainable development in Brazil yesterday, said that he was shocked by the annoucenemnt and declared that it had not been discussed with coalition partners the Libral Democrats.
The politicians’ objections come after Mr Gove’s proopsal to replace the existing nattional curriculum with ‘explicitly harder’ exams.
Gove, tipped by some as the next leader of the Conservative party, wants pupils to learn traditional academic subjects such as English, maths, history, modern languages and sciences.
The Education Department has estimated that pupils could take the new exams in 2016.
Labour Councillor for Manchester City Centre Kevin Peel has also railed against the new educational program.
Reacting to a Tweeter who called the national curriculm a ‘straightjacket for teachers’, Mr Peel defended the current system.
He said: “(We have) got to have a national framework to ensure all children learn core subjects.”