School examinations are to be made more demanding and relevant at GCSE and A-level after complaints that too many s...
School examinations are to be made more demanding and relevant at GCSE and A-level after complaints that too many school-leavers lack basic skills in maths and English, reported The Sunday Times (p7).
An official report to be published next month will propose that GCSEs in both subjects be made more difficult in response to employers' growing concerns over basic literacy and numeracy. Mike Tomlinson, former chief inspector of schools and head of the government-commissioned inquiry, will also recommend that sixth form students should be further stretched. Top students would be awarded a 'distinction' in a new A-level diploma that could be worth more than three As at A-level.
The move is designed to aid universities who complain that the ever-increasing A-level success rate has swamped them with A-grade applicants. Ministers are understood to be sympathetic to the proposed changes, which would also see the abolition of the AS-level as a compulsory exam. Instead, Mr Tomlinson will propose schools should be free to retu8rn to the traditional system of sitting A-levels at the end of the sixth form.