Give vocational exams a chance

20th April 2001 at 01:00
Having been involved with the old general national vocational qualifications since 1993 and having helped to write new units and external assessments for the new vocational A-levels, could I make the following observations ("Students fail to make grade in new A-levels", TES, March 30)?

The external assessments for the new exams had to be made more rigorous. The earlier multiple-choice tests could never be compared with A-level standard exams. Is it such a bad thing that, as a result, students are showing more respect for the new courses

The new courses still offer practical and vocational experience but, such is their flexibility, they can be mixed with the new academic ASA2 courses like never before.

I am sure I am biased but our past students have done well and our January 2001 results were very encouraging.

Yes there are still issues but as far as our staff and students are concerned the vocational A-levels are a success.

Please give them a chance!

Paul Pellatt Director of Sixth Form Studies Stanbridge Earls School Romsey, Hampshire

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