A-levels on alert

12th February 2010 at 00:00

Sadly, it is clear that the Government's A-level reform programme is becoming controversial. Witness, for example, the failure to launch the A* grade effectively.

However, some of the criticisms raise more questions than answers. The top public schools of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) have made serious allegations, specifically over the grading of last summers AS exams and the potential controversy over next summer's A-levels.

Geoff Lucas, HMC secretary, wrote in The TES that his organisation felt "an uncanny sense of deja vu" because of alleged similarities with the 2002 scandals ("Fledgling exams watchdog disappoints already", January 29).

The potential for partisan attacks on A-levels this year is considerable and Ofqual has failed to establish the credibility of the new A-level system, allowing rumours to proliferate. It is now urgently necessary that the Government sets up an independent inquiry into the 2010 exams to establish, on a factual basis, what is happening to AS and A-levels.

Trevor Fisher, Teacher at a Staffordshire sixth-form college.

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