Morgan to end ‘soft bigotry’ of easier subjects

Nicky Morgan
Nicky Morgan
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NICKY Morgan will today hit out at what she claims is “soft bigotry” in schools which pushes poorer students towards “easier” subjects

The Education Secretary will say that in future everyone will take GCSEs in the core English baccalaureate subjects.

In a speech to a Sutton Trust and Education Endowment Foundation summit in London, Mrs Morgan is to say it is not enough to “close the gap” between poorer and wealthier students.

“Pupils that lag behind their peers should be encouraged to reach their full potential and to go further than simply ‘catching up’,” she will say.

“If we would want our own children to study the core academic subjects, we should extend that opportunity to every child.

“The soft bigotry of low expectation has no place in today’s schooling. That is why I intend that every secondary school starter in September will study the EBacc subjects at GCSE.

“The days of ushering children from poorer homes towards so-called ‘easier topics’, that made their lives harder in the long run, are over. Because it shouldn’t just be the children of highly literate families that get an A* in English, or those who can afford evening tuition that become excellent mathematicians. Allowing every child to study the EBacc will raise academic standards for all.”

The EBacc subjects are English, maths, sciences, history or geography, and a language.

Mrs Morgan will also say the pupil premium - which allocates extra funding to schools attended by disadvantaged students - was designed to make their “journey to academic excellence easier”.

But she is to admit there are “important challenges” around how it is being spent by head teachers and that work is needed to gather information on the most effective use of this money.