YOU MAY well be right that changes in the A-level system are needed to reflect the real educational needs of the 1990s. But the reasons for the drop in those taking science subjects go far deeper than just A-levels. Since 1979 the Government has derided the value of science and manufacturing in favour of the culture of the Stock Exchange. This cultural shift is still continuing. As the secretary of a trade union branch made up primarily of skilled engineers, I am amazed to find that the message is going out that their skills are no longer required but they may, if so desired, retrain to do routine clerical work.
Clearly the message about the value of science in our society has already been received by A-level students.