23 January 2013: Update:
What is the future for A levels?
Have your say below…
4 July 2012: Should universities take control of A levels?
Changes that have been proposed include:
- ending modularisation and re-instating A levels as linear qualifications; and
- giving universities more ownership of A levels.
This greater involvement of universities would mean that awarding bodies would be unable to offer any A level qualification unless they could provide formal evidence that the subject content and design of that A level had had significant input from universities.
Education Secretary Michael Gove wants A levels to be publicly endorsed by the ‘best’ research-intensive universities.
However, do universities have the appetite, or even the capacity, to take control of A levels particularly leading research institutions whose time and resources are already under considerable pressure?
How much do university lecturers really know about A levels, as they are not generally involved in teaching them? Surely, the expertise lies with those school teachers and college lecturers who are engaged in the day-to-delivery of A levels and have amassed a considerable amount of experience over a number of years?
Many universities have introduced the very things which are being eliminated from A levels, such as modularisation and multiple resits, and there has been a drastic reduction in the number of university qualifications which depend on terminal examinations.
“In geography the removal of coursework in 2010 reduced the overall demand of the qualification and may have meant students were less well prepared for higher education.”
We need to ask “What are A levels for?”
Education Secretary Michael Gove has expressed the view that:
However, university entrance is not the sole function of A levels. This may have been why they were introduced originally, but over time they have increasingly become a benchmark of a level of education which employers require of candidates for particular kinds of work.
So how are universities uniquely equipped or qualified to resolve the A level conundrum?
Do let us know your views. They will help to inform Voice’s official response to the consultation. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 September 2012