The DfE is saying nothing about the chances of the GCSE in natural history getting approval. The proposal is "with ministers" I understand. But what advice are they getting from civil servants do you suppose? The fact that it wasn't announced at COP26 seems ominous for its prospects. I know almost everyone thought that Nick Gibbs’ going would unblock all kinds of initiatives, but I wasn’t convinced, seeing über conservative civil servants in the DfE's curriculum division as the problem. Their arguments are likely to be that the proposed GCSE is a poor fit with how we (ie, DfE) views what schools are for.
I was, therefore, struck by this article by Kate Bingham in The Times. In it, she writes:
"The machinery of government is dominated by process, rather than outcome, causing delay and inertia. There is an obsessive fear of personal error and criticism, a culture of groupthink and risk aversion that stifles initiative and encourages foot-dragging."
She might have been writing about the GCSE proposal.