Extensions add to university entry

YOUR report on the uptake of the new Advanced Extension Awards examinations (TES, June 28) deserves a different spin.

It is surprising that the independent sector has supplied only one-third of the candidates: much more significant (and encouraging) is the fact that the maintained and further education sectors have supplied two-thirds of the candidates.

In their first year, AEAs have reversed the entry pattern of the old Special papers, which were overwhelmingly the preserve of the independent sector.

Despite three disincentives to enter students for the new exam (the Green Paper, the lack of a Universities and Colleges Admissions Service tariff and the limited range of subjects) schools and colleges across the educational spectrum have now shown enough interest for university admissions tutors to start taking the AEA seriously as an accessible test for high achievers.

Adrian Barlow Chair of examiners OCR 1 Regent Street Cambridge

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