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Distance learning will take you far

Home-based students, who are mainly over 16, will get the chance to see a bit more of the countryside thanks to the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance which has put the "distance" back into "distance learning".

The oral examination for GCSE English will in future be held at 12 regional centres, instead of the local school. My fellow country-dwellers can look forward to a drive (or a trip on our excellent rural transport services) of up to 40 miles to take the test.

One insider told me: "These courses are taken by everyone from children doing extra studies to people who have failed at school and are desperate to improve their lot. The additional costs will be considerable. Unless something is done quickly, they will have no choice but to quit."

Don't let it be said that the AQA isn't committed to "further" education.

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