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Axing AS-levels 'is not right approach'

23/07/2010 Joanna
Cambridge University has warned against the government's plans to reform A-levels and phase out the modular approach that is currently taken.

In a letter to education secretary Michael Gove, Dr Geoff Parks, director of admissions at the institution, suggested that although there is room for improvement, it could be a mistake to do away with AS-levels.

If students are required to sit exams at the end of a two-year period, there is concern that the gains made in terms of fair admissions and widening participation will be lost, he commented.

Dr Parks pointed out that rather than using AS-level results for admissions purposes, tutors will be forced to use GCSE results, interviews and predicted grades, which are often unreliable.

"Interviews can be a good checking mechanism for potential, but none of us believes we should place more reliance on these than we currently do," he added.

Speaking last month, Mr Gove said there is concern that A-levels are not preparing students sufficiently for university.
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