Archives and TES shed light on way forward

17th December 2010 at 00:00

Michael Shaw's article "Remembrance of things passed" (December 10) drew on the archives of The TES to illustrate changes proposed to school examinations over the past 100 years. The archives of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, now Cambridge Assessment, complement these findings.

The 1941 Norwood Commission did try to overhaul the school examination system but its vision for greater internal school assessment was not implemented, partly because its recommendations failed to win teacher support.

The Government's most recent white paper states that "A-levels are a crucial way that universities select candidates for their courses, so it is important that these qualifications meet the needs of higher education institutions". To ensure that they do, Cambridge Assessment is launching a policy consultation on long-term strategy for engagement between awarding bodies and higher education. Although 70 years separate the two policies, our and The TES's archives show that real reform requires active buy-in from all involved.

Bene't Steinberg, Group director, public affairs, Chief Executive's Office, Cambridge Assessment.

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