A-level reform ‘train wreck’ will usher in university entrance exams, head warns

The TES is reporting a leading independent school head has warned of an impending “train crash” in school qualifications that will spark a “rapid growth” in universities setting their own entrance exams.

Peter Hamilton, headmaster of The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Hertfordshire… believes that ….following the government’s decision to decouple A levels and AS levels … will lead to university admissions tutors having to rely on internal school assessment of “varying quality”, according to TES’ sister publication, Times Higher Education.

“There’s a train crash waiting to happen with this lottery that we are going into; the decoupling of A levels will help not one jot,” the headmaster told an event on admissions organised by the Westminster Higher Education Forum. “There will be mistakes made because there is unreliability built into the system.”

Universities will be forced to pick students holding a “ragtag mixed bag” of qualifications as a result of the government’s exam reforms, Mr Hamilton warned.

And he added: “I would prophesise there is going to be rapid growth in selective universities who will set their own entrance tests…if you look at the scenario I’ve been painting, what other choice might you have if you are selecting rather than recruiting?”

More at A-level reform ‘train wreck’ will usher in more university entrance exams, head warns


It surely becomes a bit of a nonsense if universities, in general, start developing their own exams because A-levels aren’t, effectively, fit for purpose?

Do you think the warnings are justified or valid?

Please let us know why/why not in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Higher Education and Secondary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Govt tinkering on the exam system has damaged the global brand that is UK ed in pursuit of an ill-formed political ideology

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The British exam system is respected the world over; muddled exam reform damages this irreparably purely for political whim

  3. AlfredoNokez1

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove
    Cynics might say that change makes comparison with investment era invalid, thus masking impact of cuts.

  4. AlfredoNokez1

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Tory Govt. is hiding the impact of huge cuts under the banner of ‘increased rigour’.

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