Commitment merits reward;FE Focus;Letter

21st May 1999 at 01:00
CHRIS Woodhead's criticism of modular A-levels (TES, May 7) is most surprising because he sees fit to completely contradict the Government's plans for post-16 education. Mr Woodhead wants to deny hardworking A-level students the right to a university place on the grounds that tenacity and commitment are worth less than the ability to pass a single exam.

The availability of modular A-levels is part of an overall new framework which is intended to give post-16 students greater choice and flexibility. This will help them to make informed decisions about their specialist subjects and help to maximise their chances of success.

Mr Woodhead's claim that the ability to mix and match academic and vocational subjects will destroy intellectual integrity is nonsense. The reforms will increase the integrity of qualifications by allowing students to develop a wide range of skills. Mr Woodhead chooses to ignore universities and indeed employers who demand a more broadly-based curriculum which allows students to learn and demonstrate a variety of skills, not just those related to a final exam.

Teresa Murray Key skills manager Mid-Kent College Horsted Centre Maidstone Road Chatham Kent

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