Who would you like to sit a GCSE in natural history?

Mary Colwell’s e-petition to develop a GCSE in natural history is doing well – over 4000 signatures already (see here and here).

If it already existed then I wonder how many Defra ministers would pass it?



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12 Replies to “Who would you like to sit a GCSE in natural history?”

  1. I think no DEFRA ministers would pass it and indeed very few politicians of any flavour would pass it that is one of conservations' major problems. a lack of understanding in the corridors of power and those who understand a little, are the shooting lobbies friends and not ours.

    1. Please read pages 29 & 30 of said mag for those who didn't understand my comment.
      Mark, perhaps you would repeat the link to it?

  2. Lack of biological - or even basic science - knowledge is a massive danger in public affairs - especially in the post-expertise, post-fact era. The largely arts graduates in politics may have the gift of the gab but horrifyingly little biological knowledge. This is becoming serious for all of us as issues like climate change and GM are down-rated politically because people in power simply can't understand the potential implications - but one thing we can be sure of is that, not understanding the problem, they are ill equipped to find the answers.

    The ultimate test must surely be whether even Michael Gove would be happy to be told, as he is wheeled into the operating theatre, that his surgeon hasn't actually ever done an operation, but of course that's Ok because he has lots of business experience.

    1. Suspect we pay private health insurance for Westminster public servants, but that said a surgeon may still not be experienced and if things went wrong they wheel them next door for the NHS to bail out the private ....

      As ever, Roderick's first para above as well as the caution offered by Random22 around any politically motivated organisation which has 'latterly' included wildlife and or conservation in its name.

    2. You might tell this to Worthington, Miliband, Huhne and Davey. Poor Gove is in fact still in an operating theatre in New York as surgeons try valiantly to remove him from Mr Trump's colon, which is proving difficult as he just won't let go, it is alleged.

  3. As long as it doesn't become an excuse to brainwash kids into the hunting shooting and fishing fraternity. Look at this supposed environmental charity who are boasting of teaching fly fishing the classroom under the guise of environmental awareness:

  4. On the face of it this is a wonderful, inspiring idea but, unfortunately, I really don't see it as being practical at this point in time. Have enquiries been made amongst Y9 young people, how many would wish to take this up (and forgo another subject)? It would take 30 in each school to be viable even assuming there is a member of staff able to teach it.

    The issue needs to be addressed at a much earlier stage; reception to KS3 needs a constant diet of this nature before a young person might consider this as an option. I know many will say that their children / grandchildren would love this but I guess they've already been inspired by their family. We are not a normal subset of people on this page! Ask your child if there really are another 29 likeminded youngsters in their school who would be prepared to do this at the expense of another subject.

    I really hate to seem to be negative but I really believe this is misguided and that efforts should be directed elsewhere.

    1. Please read pages 29 & 30 of New Nature. Link in Mark's guest blog of yesterday.

      If it is taught, may it not become more acceptable? Also, knowing that it would involve field days out of the classroom, you'd probably get a queue a mile long.
      As for who would teach, would teachers not make use of the expertise and the educational facilities already provided by many NGOs?

  5. I have written a blog article about why I do not support this:


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