Sixth-form students tell Huppert of fears over A level reforms
The students from Hill’s Road Sixth Form College called on Julian to support their fight against the planned changes which they describe as “a shambles”.
Seventeen-year-olds Catherine Spencer and Thevindu Edirisinghe from the college’s School Council, who have just sat their AS level exams, asked Julian to take a letter outlining their concerns to Education Minister, Michael Gove.
The college’s NUS officer, Catherine said: “This new approach to A levels will stifle creativity for those kids with creative minds, and those with learning difficulties will find it hard to sit one exam at the end of their two year courses.
“This is reform for the sake of reform. It will create a lot of extra stress. We’re not saying the system doesn’t need to be reformed; it could be better but what is being proposed is not right. It’s a shambles.”
Student Council Chair, Thevinov added: “There is a lack of communication between the different exam boards and exams are clashing. I had five hours of exams in one day. Some of our students had to go home overnight with no outside contact because they were waiting to sit an exam that others had taken the day before.”
Julian said: “Catherine and Thevinov have first-hand experience of our present A level system and see its weaknesses but they also recognise its strengths. They and other sixth form students are in a good position to make this government think again.
“I am very worried about these proposed changes. There is a huge leap from GCSE exams to A levels and some students might realise that a subject which they enjoyed at 16 might not be what they expected at A level. Under the present system they can give up the subject after AS level with a recognised qualification but under the new system they will have wasted a year of study with nothing to show for it.
“AS levels as they currently exist are also extremely useful for university admissions as they are a good indicator of how a student will do in their final A level exams. Without them, I fear that admissions interviewers would be forced to use other measures which could hamper social mobility.”
Recently, Julian joined Cambridge University students to deliver 1,600 signatures to the Department of Education urging Mr Gove to rethink his reforms.