Michael Gove announces A-level overhaul

By Gerald Heneghan

Michael Gove has unveiled a raft of changes to the way A-levels are carried out in England.

In a letter to exam regulator Ofqual, the education secretary set out a number of reforms that will see AS-levels separated from A-levels and the introduction of end-of-course exams.

“Qualifications that command the confidence of our best universities will also command the confidence of teachers, parents, students and employers,” he said of the changes.

Gove added that while A-levels have “much to commend them,” they do not adequately prepare students for undertaking a degree.

The letter also set out plans to involve universities to a greater degree in the design of A-level qualifications.

“I want to see new arrangements that allow Awarding Organisations to work with universities to develop qualifications in a way that is unconstrained – as far as possible – by centrally determined criteria,” the education secretary added.

However, Gove’s shadow counterpart Stephen Twigg claimed the proposals were another example of the government attempting to “turn the clock back”, referring to plans to replace GCSE qualifications with English Baccalaureate Certificates from 2015.

Speaking on Twitter, Twigg warned that the move would result in “narrowing options for young people”.

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