Brighton College abandons "subjective" IGCSE

Posted On 14 Jan 2010 at 10:29 pm

Brighton College has bucked the trend of independent schools taking up the “more difficult” international GCSE by abandoning it, branding it unpredictable.

The private school in Eastern Road, Kemp Town, was among the first to adopt IGCSEs, which are considered to be a more rigourous qualification.

But The Times reports it has decided to drop them. Head Richard Cairns told the paper: “The marking is very subjective . . . there were some unexpected results.”

Meanwhile, the performance of the borough’s other schools is stirring debate. The Argus reports Portslade Community College, Falmer High School and Hove Park School are in the UK’s bottom 200.

This, coupled with the shining results of the city’s independent schools, has prompted Green councillor Ben Duncan to call for the nationalisation of private schools.

He says: “I think the sooner the state has the courage to nationalise private schools – just as it has done, to excellent effect, in parts of Canada – and make them available to everyone, at the same time as massively increasing investment in every school to ensure all pupils can enjoy the very best (yes it’ll cost a bit more but it seems the government can find the billions alright when it wants to, say, bail out the banks, or fund an immoral war, or an outdated nuclear deterrent, or the latest hair-brained scheme they dream up in Whitehall).”

But this has attracted scorn from the Tory-leaning Brighton and Hove News, Reviews and Comment blog (no relation to us).

It says: “It would be unfair if Brighton College only accepted students because their name was ‘John’ or only if they had blue eyes. If you can afford to send your child to Brighton College you do so, if you can’t, it is not Brighton College’s fault that other establishments are below par.

“Is it unfair that people eat at £150pp restaurants? Surely not, they are choosing to enjoy the luxuries that they are able to afford. Nobody would argue that this restaurant should help fund the local kebab shop?”

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