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A-level reform: schools plan to ignore change by offering AS-levels


Significant numbers of schools will ignore controversial A-level reforms by continuing to make AS-levels a central part of the timetable, a poll suggests.

Changes being introduced from September will mean that AS-levels no longer count towards final A-level grades. Ministers hope this will cut the number of exams being taken in sixth forms and allow more time for deeper learning.

But a survey of almost 500 schools by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) finds that a significant number plan to retain AS-levels as an integral part of A-level courses.

The survey comes as Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of Ucas, warns of the potential “downside” of the government’s favoured linear model of A-levels, where exams fall at the end of a two-year course.

Writing for the TES website, she argues that this could lead to the “majority of students” being at risk of gaining worse grades “simply from making the wrong choices of subjects”.

Nearly a quarter of schools that responded to the survey said the reforms would also lead to fewer young people taking A-levels.

Read the full article in the 16 January edition of TES on your tablet or phone or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.

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