It's risky to make cuts if you're short-sighted

7th January 2011 at 00:00

David Willetts, the minister for universities and science, is quite right to highlight the hidden agenda among many universities when it comes to non-standard A-level subjects, but the only consequence will be that bright pupils will no longer want to take them. Courses will shut, teachers will lose their jobs and everyone will have far less choice.

Perhaps a more adult debate is needed on what is wrong with these A-levels and why they don't challenge the students in the same way as conventional subjects.

Having accepted my son's choice of A-level film studies (as well as philosophy and English literature), I was delighted at how much pleasure he got from the course and encouraged by the skills he developed over the two years. However, he was convinced that it was much easier to get an A in film than in his other subjects. Surely we need to question those who set the standard for media studies and other less conventional A-levels and make sure they are academically sound, rather than simply write them off the school curriculum.

Jackie Sherman, Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

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