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Photographers zoom to the rescue

FIFTY of the most prominent names in photography have protested to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority following The TES's revelation that their subject's A-level is facing the axe.

Famous names pleading for a stay of execution for the exam include Oliver Richon of the Royal College of Art, Mark Hayworth-Booth of the Vamp;A, Terence Pepper of the National Portrait Gallery, Paul Wombell, director of the Photographers' Gallery, and Martin Parr, vice-president of the Magnum photographic agency.

QCA officials have told the Associated Examining Board that its existing exam is "too narrow in range, scope and demand to be accepted as a qualification".

A QCA deadline for exam boards to submit next year's A-level courses expired last week and photography was not included.

a similar phasing-out of the GCSE in photography last year has brought at least one school's photography department to the brink of closure. Monks Walk school in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, had 80 pupils taking GCSE photography before the reform.

Now, only a handful are sitting the alternative photography option within the art and design syllabus and the school will not teach photography next year.

Letters, 23

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