Tougher in 1965

I am amazed that the debate over A-level standards persists, and that education ministers still claim that standards have not fallen. Yet again the crucial point has been missed - that the shift in the pattern of grades awarded since the mid-1980s is so huge that it cannot be accounted for by better teachers, students, schools and colleges, even if they have generally improved considerably in that time. Between 1965 and 1984, there were three times more fails than A grades; this year, nine times more A grades were awarded than fails.

Dr Andrew Dunn, Research Fellow, Institute of Independent College and University Tutors, Coventry.

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