Equal status for GNVQs in tables

18th September 1998 at 01:00
It can be argued that league tables have highlighted the achievements of schools and their pupils, and that this has resulted in increased standards.

Nevertheless, as a headteacher who took part in the initial consultations which led to the publication of the 1996 Dearing review of post-16 qualifications , I feel some disquiet as I recall one of its stated aims which was that a national framework should "seek to bring the structure of A-levels and the GNVQ into close alignment".

Students in my school who have been encouraged to attain a GNVQ alongside one other A-level, appear in the league tables as having achieved their A-level grade only. Their GNVQ grade is not recognised even though such students may have achieved a high A-level grade and a distinction at GNVQ. What incentive is there for schools such as mine to adopt vocational courses? We need to allocate a parallel points system to GNVQ grades so that they can be recognised in next year's tables.

Stephanie Kershaw Headteacher St James's The Abbey West Malvern, Worcs Research Focus, page 21

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