It's unjust to select for A-level courses

25th August 2000 at 01:00
SCHOOL admission policies have a direct bearing on A-level achievements and how schools rank in league tables, as your correspondent Helen Haddon rightly pointed out (TES, August 11).

Most state-maintained secondary schools that I know do indeed have open access to the sixth-form. There are, unfortunately, some state schools that also operate a selective system in relation to A-level courses by denying access to students who they feel will not achieve high grades.

These students are then faced with a choice between general national vocational qualifications or seeking another institution.

The legality of this is doubtful. It is arguable that students coming from Year 11 into Year 12 are entitled to take an A-level if the course i suitable to their needs and they have a reasonable prospect of achieving a pass.

A refusal of such access which led to the student going elsewhere could be interpreted as an unlawful permanent exclusion bearing in mind that students do not automatically come off the school roll at the end of Year 11 and can only be removed on one of the limited grounds provided by the regulations.

The likelihood of not achieving grade A in an A-level subject is not one of those grounds.

I have had knowledge of a number of such cases. Unfortunately, parents are understandably reluctant to force the issue and as a result student rights are eroded.

Richard Gold

Stone King solicitors

13 Queen Square



Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now