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.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today