Scrap A-Levels or Britain will be stuck with historians who can’t do maths, former university minister warns

The Telegraph is reporting a warning from the former universities minister that A-Levels must be scrapped or Britain will be stuck with historians who can’t do maths and scientists who can’t speak a foreign language…

David Willetts said that “forcing” young people to specialise in just three or four subjects at the age of 16 left them with very narrow knowledge.

The comments will be seen as a critique of the former Education Secretary Michael Gove who embarked on a wide ranging reform programme of the exams, narrowing the focus of A-Levels.

Many students at Britain’s top schools are already abandoning the traditional A-Level in favour of the International Baccalaureate, the International A-level and the Cambridge Pre-U.

Mr Willetts said British pupils “specialise too soon” and that it was leaving the country with “scientists who can’t speak a foreign language, historians and people who’ve studied social sciences who can’t do maths and we have people who are not as scientifically literate as they should be.

“That’s a real problem we have to tackle.”

He added: “People love A-Levels as the gold standard, by forcing people to go down to three subjects. It’s hard to reform. People are worried that you’re lowering standards.”…

More at: Scrap A-Levels or Britain will be stuck with historians who can’t do maths, former university minister warns

 

Interesting argument from David Willetts – do you agree with the idea that A levels force too much specialisation too soon? Or would you support the current system? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove More advice on education from an MPs who has only stepped inside a classroom for a photo shoot. Cheers Dave

  2. PaulGarvey4

    SchoolsImprove Scrap “A” levels and historians will say Britain will be stuck with students of all kinds who can’t do history. 2 sides…..

  3. jessica10510

    SchoolsImprove I support the current system, making people carry on a subject doesnt mean they’d be any good at it.

  4. HughdjNicklin

    SchoolsImprove UKIP We persist w ramshackle NHS when we cd have French system off peg. We persist w A Levels when we could have IB off peg

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