A levels could be taken earlier in year in PQA shake-up

DfE consults on how to implement new post-qualifications admissions system, which could see 'compressed' exam timetable
21st January 2021, 12:33pm

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A levels could be taken earlier in year in PQA shake-up

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/levels-could-be-taken-earlier-year-pqa-shake
A-level Exams: The Dfe Has Begun A Consultation On Implementing A New Post-qualifications Admissions System For University

A-level exams could take place earlier in the year under plans for the Department for Education's proposed new post-qualifications admissions (PQA) system for higher education.

As announced at the end of last year, the DfE is considering moving to a PQA system where applicants receive university places based on their actual exam results rather than predicated grades - in order to "remove the unfairness" that some groups face due to inaccurate predicted grades.

In a DfE consultation document launched today, education secretary Gavin Williamson says: "It is becoming increasingly evident that the current system of admissions to higher education is preventing some students from reaching their full potential at the first hurdle…[we have] a system which, with its reliance on predicted grades, is complex, lacks transparency, works against the interests of some students."


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The consultation document seeks views on a number of different options including on how to move results days to earlier in the year, with the preference being to "compress" the exam timetable and the marking period in order to give universities more time to process admissions.

Post-qualifications admissions: 'Levelling the playing field'

It states: "Other options could include exams being held earlier, but the feasibility and impact of this is something we want to explore in this consultation and through wider engagement."

Universities minister Michelle Donelan said today: "It has never been more important to level the playing field to ensure young people of all backgrounds have the very best opportunities to succeed for the future.

"We know the current system of using predicted grades for university admissions can let down pupils from the most disadvantaged backgrounds and limit aspirations.

"That is why we are consulting and working with the sector to explore how to achieve a system which works better to propel students into promising opportunities, and allows schools, colleges and universities to support them to reach their full potential."

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