Professor David Hargreaves, who is helping ministers draw up a blueprint on the future of sixth form study, told the newspaper that the A-level would be replaced by a 'British baccalaureate' examination within 10 years. Nobody was satisfied with the current system, he said. What was required to put things right was 'not just tinkering around' but something 'more radical'.
Prof Hargreaves, former head of the government's Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, added:'We need to allow the A-level system to evolve and have something very much better than we have today because I don't know anybody who is satisfied with where we are'.
The future of A-levels was plunged into crisis last week by a row over alleged 'fixing' of this year's results. Education secretary Estelle Morris responded by launching an independent inquiry, although the government insists there is no evidence so far of malpractice. A preliminary investigation by the QCA, conducted by one man over four days, reached the same verdict.
Secondary Heads Association general secretary John Dunford said: 'The exam system needs a radical rethink if we are to restore public confidence in our national qualifications. A baccalaureate, tailored to the traditions of English education, is the right option for the future'.