Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
The senior adviser on school examinations has called for the abolition of A-levels in an interview that heralds the...
The senior adviser on school examinations has called for the abolition of A-levels in an interview that heralds the end of the beleaguered 'gold standard' of UK education, reported The Sunday Telegraph (p1).

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.

Prof Hargreaves said whatever the outcome of the present furore, the A-level system needed to be overhauled. By replacing the A-levels with a new qualification, the government could attract more support from employers and universities, who are both sceptical of the value of the current exam.

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'.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.