29/10/2008

Finance GSCE Ditched

Ulster schools are to ditch a GSCE course in Financial Services, it has emerged.

The move has been blamed on the low uptake of the qualification, coupled with the 'overlap' between it and other exams.

Similarities in the Financial Services course and GCSEs in Business Studies and Economics were found by the Education Department, according to Minister Caitríona Ruane.

Ms Ruane (pictured) was responding to questions from DUP MLA Jonathan Craig, over the decision.

Mr Craig expressed disappointment at the axing of the GCSE.
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Laurelhill Community College Board of Governors Chair, Mr Craig, said: "I think now is not the time for taking such exams from the curriculum, when you take into account what has happened in the past six months within the financial sector in the UK.

"It has gone into meltdown and it is all to do with bad finance.

"We should be looking to increase this aspect of education not decrease it," added the Lagan Valley assembly member.

The GSCE was first offered in 2003, on a trial basis.

Schools will withdraw the qualification from September 2009, under the Minister's proposals.

Ms Ruane stressed that a range of other non-GCSE qualifications were still available.

(PR/JM)

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