Education Secretary Michael Gove has been forced to abandon his flagship plan to scrap GCSEs and replace them with a new English Baccalaureate.

Last week the cross-party Commons Education Committee said the Government had ''not proved its case'' that GCSEs should be abolished in key academic subjects.

Mr Gove will now go before the Commons today to set out alternative proposals to reform GCSEs - reducing the role played by course work.

He had originally wanted to introduce the new EBacc certificate in England in the five core academic areas of English, maths, science, languages and humanities - history or geography.

Each of the core subjects would have been handed to a single examination board - a move he argued was essential to prevent boards ''dumbing down'' standards to attract more schools.

He will set out the plans as they stand now in a statement to the commons at 11.30am.

Dr Terry Fish, head teacher of Twynham School in Christchurch said: “Finally, there is a tiny bit of sense returning to the education world.

“I think Michael Gove managed to achieve one thing no other politician managed and that is to get no other person to agree with him.

“I think he is disingenuous. He has been on and on about our GCSEs but this just shows he needed to listen more.

“Broadly GCSEs are fine but there do need to be some slight changes and one of the big things is the whole business of controlled assessments.

“They are a total and complete nightmare.

“Everyone is happy to look at what the qualifications may mean for the future.

“In fact an independent body called the Heads' Roundtable is looking at a model of what the curriculum might look like.

“But it is important to value all qualifications and that includes vocational.

“I think what we need to do is we need to think very carefully about what our children should know and be able to do to cope with life in this country.

“Employers also want young people who have so-called soft skills. But Michael Gove seems to want to push all that to one side.”

He added: “I hope this is a tide turning. I hope we can see more consultation with people that matter in the education system.”