Strip back the layers of complexity

13th April 2012 at 01:00

Giving more control of A levels to universities is long overdue ("All A levels are equal - but some will be more equal", 6 April). But students will not be helped if it turns into a free-for-all between competing awarding bodies and universities. Admission to elite universities is arcane enough without adding further layers of complexity, which successful schools will quickly work out but which will baffle schools and students who are not on the inside track.

Coordination will be needed at the subject level, and the ideal organisations to do this are the learned societies. For example, the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry have members from schools and industry as well as from universities, and have an interest in securing high standards in their subjects - and the expert knowledge to do so.

Sir John Holman, Department of chemistry, University of York.

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