The Independent is reporting claims made at a conference that Michael Gove’s planned shake-up of A-levels will lead to teachers being made redundant…
Under the Government’s plans, AS-level marks will no longer count towards A-level grades. The exam is to be “decoupled” from A-levels and stand as a qualification in its own right.
As a result, far fewer students are expected to sit the exam – with colleges offering students the traditional three A-levels route to university instead of encouraging them to take four subjects to AS-level and then drop their weakest suit.
Mark Bramwell, in charge of sixth-form colleges at the Association of Colleges, told a conference in London: “The three A-level route will lead to staff redundancies.”
Many colleges, he said, had not yet decided how to react to the Government’s proposals – but a growing number had now indicated they would shift to the traditional three A-levels for students.
Andrew Parkin, principal of St Dominic’s Sixth-Form College in Harrow, north-west London, added: “We’re looking at a significant cut in our funding – as many of you (colleges) are at the end of 2016.”
Colleges would have to consider how to tackle examination costs in the face of budget shortfalls. One college estimated it was costing £180,000 to put all its students in for AS levels.
Mr Parkin added: “My view as a head is that we need a broad and balanced curriculum. We need to keep that as long as possible because I think it is right to give the students the opportunity to do a lot of different subjects.
“At present we offer 30 subjects and I want to keep that as long as we can afford to do so. However, there is lots of uncertainty and lots of anxiety amongst the staff with all the things that are happening…”
Do you think the changes to A levels and the de-coupling of AS levels will result in fewer students taking a fourth subject in the sixth form? If so, will that have a knock on effect on staffing levels? More fundamentally, would an increase in the traditional three A=levels route be an unwelcome development for students? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…