9 November 2012

million+ comment on Ofqual response to A-Level reform consultation

Pam Tatlow Chief Executive of the university think-tank million+ said:

“The Government’s plans to reform A-levels have clearly run into troubled waters, with a very limited set of reforms from the exam regulator Ofqual along with proposals for further consultation.

“Ofqual has already concluded that A-levels are broadly fit for purpose and universities have rejected the proposal that they ‘sign-off’ each A-level subject for the different exam boards and there is no good reason to resurrect it.

“It now appears that the Government wants to introduce new A-levels in 2015, the year of the general election. This timetable is still too ambitious but unless there is cross-party consensus, A-levels will become a political football and it will be students who lose out.

“Students are also the losers from the decision to remove the opportunity to sit A-levels in January. There are merits in limiting the number of resits but there is no mileage in the final A-level exams only being offered in June. If students have to wait a whole year to re-sit their exams they will lose valuable opportunities to apply for university with new grades and it completely ignores that many universities offer courses that start at different points in the year. It will also limit opportunities for students who want to get a job based on their A-level grades.

“This proposal was opposed by over half of the respondents to the independent impact assessment conducted for Ofqual, and should be urgently reconsidered.”

Ends

Notes to editors

1.  million+ is a leading university think-tank, working to solve the complex problems in higher education www.millionplus.ac.uk<http://www.millionplus.ac.uk>. For more information please contact Jean Candler, Head of Public Affairs on 0207 717 1659 or 07900 277 819.