The GCSE exams in England should be dropped and replaced with a bachelor's degree for the leavers which includes professional skills and personal development, as part of a radical overhaul proposed by an influential Conservative MP.
Robert Halfon, Member of Parliament for Harlow and Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee on Education, is the first Conservative decision maker to surpass the ranks of future GCSE exams, after the government's efforts to improve their status by making them more difficult.
Halfon, which is campaigning to improve the perception of technical education and learning, will argue on Monday that the focus on 16-year-old GCSEs has led to a narrow focus on academic performance and learning. learning by heart, and that a complete education requires more breadth.
"I fully support the need for every young person to have access, through his schooling, to a practical knowledge of our cultural capital, our history and our literature. But it is also essential that we develop our next generation of engineers, entrepreneurs and designers, "Halfon will declare at a meeting of the charity Edge Foundation in London.
"All young people should have access to the technical and creative subjects that will give them the skills that employers are looking for. These are not "soft skills" developed at the expense of knowledge, but essential skills that will enable youth to interpret, manipulate and communicate this knowledge. We must move from knowledge to knowledge.
In England, it is unusual for developed countries to impose two sets of "high stakes" examinations on high school students – Grade 11 GCSEs and Grade A or similar grades in Grade 13, with only the first ones used as a measure. principal of the school or regional achievement.
Since 2010, the government is committed to improving the image of GCSEs by reformatting them so that they are based on reviews rather than including courses, and adding more difficult content.
The new GCSEs were adopted for the first time two years ago and some school heads complained that the more rigorous reviews had exacerbated pressures on teachers and students.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education (DfE) said: "The GSCE are the benchmark qualification par excellence at age 16 and a passport for in-depth studies and employability. They have recently been reformed to match the demands of other high-performing countries and to better prepare students for work and study. "
Alice Barnard, executive director of the Edge Foundation, said Halfon reflected the concerns of parents, students and business leaders from all sectors.
"It's more than just creating a skilled workforce. The forward-thinking schools we work with consistently demonstrate that engaging students in creative learning, instead of simply memorizing them based on facts, increases performance, aspirations and promotes personal growth. " Barnard said.
"These are the qualities and skills that will shape our future engineers, designers, artists, inventors and innovators."
According to Halfon, schools should be measured according to the completion of the bachelor's degree at age 18 and the destinations of their students in the years following their departure, rather than based on GCSE results.
Halfon will also argue that learning should be placed on an "absolute standard", in the eyes of policymakers and parents, in the same way as secondary education and higher education, and that institutions Continuing education in England are underfunded and underestimated.
The DfE said: "We are also pursuing the reforms of the independent panel of experts on technical education in order to give students a clear choice between an academic background or a technical background at the age of 16. years. T levels, alongside learning, will form the basis of our offer of technical education. "