Stop endless tinkering with exams
The routine practice of tinkering with the exams system has made it so complicated that understanding it could become a subject in its own right, perhaps leading to an exam in Exam Studies.
Yesterday, Education Secretary Michael Gove announced the latest bout of meddling with his much-anticipated and much-trailed replacement qualification for GCSEs, the reputation of which has been relentlessly maligned by some politicians (including Mr Gove) and sections of the media.
Commentators had dubbed the new qualifications "Gove levels" prior to the announcement.
Instead, they are to be given the somewhat mundane and wordy name of the English Baccalaureate Certificate.
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That should certainly contribute to the confusion as there are at least two other qualifications in English schools which are also called baccalaureates.
And it seems that the new qualification will possibly only apply in England, with different exams in Wales and Northern Ireland, and only to some subjects.
So, what does the new exam have in its favour? Well, at least it is not the two-tier system – similar to the old O-levels and CSEs – which had been widely feared.
And there are some sensible proposals – single exam boards for each subject will simplify the system, as will a single end-of-course exam rather than the current jigsaw of modules.
Allowing the exam to be sat at different age points between 16 and 18 is also an interesting idea.
Of course, all these things could easily be done without renaming the exams.
One suspects, however, that this would not have seemed radical enough.
The controversy over these measures will rage on of course, generating more heat than light, and the new exams are not even due to be introduced until 2015, so there is plenty of opportunity for more confusion.
When the dust has eventually settled, however, would it be a forlorn hope to wish that governments of whatever political complexion will then leave things alone for a little while?