Reform of A-levels and GCSEs wins support

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The Independent Online

Ministers will pledge their backing nest week for the biggest shake-up of exams since the current education system was devised 60 years ago.

Ministers will pledge their backing next week for the biggest shake-up of exams since the current education system was devised 60 years ago.

They are also seeking all-party support for the plans to scrap the existing GCSE and
A-level system in favour of a new overarching diploma.

Behind-the-scenes moves have already had some success, before the proposals being announced on Monday by Mike Tomlinson, the former chief schools inspector heading an inquiry into education for 14 to 19-year-olds. David Miliband, the minister for School Standards, has had talks with Phil Willis, the Liberal Democrat education spokesman, and Tim Collins, for the Conservatives. Their support is seen as crucial to the success of the reforms since their implementation will have to be staged over 10 years covering three parliaments and a possible change of government.

The prospects for all-party agreement are encouraging. The Liberal Democrats, particularly, are even more positive about the proposals than the Government.

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