As both a teacher and a parent of able students, I have very real questions about the latest policies in many state schools for able students. When applying to medical school, the admissions tutors assess students on how many GCSE A*s they have, and how many A grades at AS level. The current fashion for "acceleration" is doing many students no favours, as 10 A*s at 16 will get you much further than a bunch of A and B grades, or indeed lower, at 14 or 15, and a C grade AS level or two taken in years 10 or 11. Unless the student will already get an A* they are better off waiting and getting that top grade in year 11, then starting AS levels at Year 12 and getting top grades. There is a reason why the independent sector does this. It is the most effective way of getting students into prestigious courses at top universities. I ask state school heads to consider this as well.
Karen Revans, Bridgwater, Somerset.