Cambridge in fresh attack on Coalition A-level reforms

Coalition plans to scrap AS-level qualifications in their current form will cause major damage to the university admissions system, according to Cambridge academics. This is from the Telegraph…

The exams – taken in the first year of the sixth-form – are an essential gauge of pupils’ ability and should be retained as part of the A-level, it was claimed.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, 40 Cambridge admissions tutors said AS results provided more accurate data than the university’s own entrance tests.

It is feared that any decision to separate AS exams from full A-level qualifications could lead to a sharp drop in the number of school-leavers applying to the university.

The comments will pile further pressure on the Government just a week after it announced controversial plans to overhaul A-levels in England.

From 2015, qualifications will be wholly assessed through end-of-course exams taken after two years of the sixth-form.

Existing AS-levels will be retained as standalone courses but results will no longer count towards the full A-level.

Ministers insist the changes – affecting up to 300,000 students a year – will create more time for teaching and ensure teenagers are better prepared for the demands of higher education.

But the move has angered Cambridge which currently relies on results at the end of the AS year to award provisional places.

In today’s letter, 40 admissions tutors from across Cambridge claim that AS results are more accurate than using GCSE scores, teachers’ predictions of pupils’ ability or separate entry tests set by the university itself.

More at:  Cambridge in fresh attack on Coalition A-level reforms

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