Michael Gove's reforms could spell the end of AS levels
Poll shows that less than one in seven believe the exam will still be valuable for pupils under Education Secretary's reforms
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Wednesday 24 July 2013
Britain’s independent schools will ditch the AS level exam if Education Secretary Michael Gove goes ahead with his controversial school reforms.
A poll of 320 leading independent schools shows that less than one in seven believe the exam will still be valuable for pupils if the reforms are introduced in September 2015.
Under the reforms, the AS level will no longer be an integral part of the A-level syllabus - taken by teenagers at the end of the sixth-form.
Instead, they will be a standalone exam taken alongside A-levels at the end of the sixth-form - meaning that they will be sat too late for university admissions officers to take them into account when assessing applicants. Cambridge University, in particular, believes they give crucial evidence of applicants’ sixth-form performance.
“Very few schools, state or private, have the resources to offer full A-level courses as well as separate AS levels in most subjects,” said Jim Stearns, head of Shoreham College, Sussex, and chairman of the Independent Schools Association - which conducted the survey.
“Universities recognise this and most won’t require applicants to have sat additional AS levels.”
Neil Roskilly, ISA’s chief executive, added: “The likely result is that AS levels will largely disappear, which is a great shame. Universities find the current AS levels extremely useful as they provided a real measure of a student’s ability after one year of study.
“This is vital evidence for allocating university places, as schools’ own predictions are often very unreliable. We are also likely to see an explosion of university entrance tests - many of which will be quite variable.”
In all, only 13.5 per cent of respondents said they would still value the AS level exam after the reforms were brought in.
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Teacher of Girls PE for Wiltshire scho...
£105 - £120 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randsta...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: We are looking for KS1 & KS2...
£23000 - £25000 per annum + Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Internal Communications...