James Forsyth

Utter Balls

Utter Balls
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Sometime a politician says something that is so at odds with reality that one almost hopes that it is spin rather than what they really think. Yesterday, Ed Balls said that it was “nonsense” to claim that IGCSEs are more demanding than GCSEs. This is patent rubbish. Pretty much any teacher, or pupil, will tell you that IGCSe are far harder than GCSEs.

The GCSE IGCSE split, the number of pupils from independent schools taking IGCSE exams trebled last years, threatens to further heighten the divide between the state and independent sectors. But rather than dealing with the problem that GCSEs have become debased, Balls is just claiming that nothing is wrong and taking pot shots at independent schools. Indeed, if one was a cynic one might think that Balls was deliberately trying to engineer a fight with private schools to boost his left-wing credentials ahead of the leadership contest that will follow the next election. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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