Students will only be able to sit A-levels in the summer to end grade inflation, but critics say the changes are a return to a ‘draconian-style education system’
The first stage of the planned shake up of A-levels will see pupils starting their A-level and AS-level courses from September only being able to sit exams in June. The move is designed to stop pupils resitting exams to get higher marks and curb the ‘resit culture’, The Independent reports.
Ofqual’s decision to end the option of taking exams again in January followed a three-month consultation and has met a mixed response, with student and teacher groups expressing disappointment but higher education being more supportive. However, almost every respondent to the consultation said that the Government was moving too fast by seeking to implement changes in 2014.
The DfE welcomed the decision: “We are pleased that January exams and multiple resits will be scrapped, that people want less internal assessment and that universities have given such a clear signal that they want to be involved in designing A-levels.” But NUS vice-president Toni Pearce said: “These announcements from Ofqual represent a return to a 1950s’ draconian-style education system where your entire future is based on your performance on one day, with no second chances or room for an off day.”
Chris Keates from NASUWT said that Ofqual’s decision is unnecessary: “The only pressure that is being exerted for reform is based on the ideological agenda of the secretary of state, who is seemingly determined to reduce the A-level to an elite university entrance exam, rather than a qualification which supports and prepares all young people to make the most of their future.”
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