Strip back the layers of complexity

Sir John Holman

Giving more control of A levels to universities is long overdue ("All A levels are equal - but some will be more equal", 6 April). But students will not be helped if it turns into a free-for-all between competing awarding bodies and universities. Admission to elite universities is arcane enough without adding further layers of complexity, which successful schools will quickly work out but which will baffle schools and students who are not on the inside track.

Coordination will be needed at the subject level, and the ideal organisations to do this are the learned societies. For example, the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry have members from schools and industry as well as from universities, and have an interest in securing high standards in their subjects - and the expert knowledge to do so.

Sir John Holman, Department of chemistry, University of York.

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Sir John Holman

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