Friday, June 25, 2010

Universities should set A-levels, say Tories

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor Published: 4:48PM GMT 02 March 2010

Panels of academics, examination play and schooled societies will book A-level syllabuses and examination writings to "restore rigour" to the preparation system, it was announced.

The Tories pronounced the move would stop main open examinations being manipulated by politicians and opposite annual claims of "dumbing down".

Rise in university admissions tests Election debates: open to theme leaders A-levels: university-style dissertations introduced A-level formula climb "caused by re-sits" Exams need to yield some-more "intellectual challenge" Teachers being incited in to amicable workers, warns Michael Gove

Elite universities have criticised A-levels in the past for unwell to widen splendid students.

Many institutions have found it increasingly tough to name the tip possibilities from flourishing numbers withdrawal propagandize with true A grades forcing them to set their own admissions tests.

The Government insists it has already acted to harden up A-levels the main examination dictating university entrance in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This year, students will answer tougher, essay-style questions and an chosen A* will collect out the really most appropriate candidates.

But Michael Gove, the shade schools secretary, insisted reforms fell far short of restoring correct certainty to the exams system.

In a debate in executive London on Tuesday, he said: "We contingency safeguard that A-levels are stable from devaluation at the hands of politicians.

"The institutions with the biggest seductiveness in progressing standards at A-level are those that embrace A-level students - the universities.

"The people with the keenest seductiveness in ensuring A-levels need the abyss of believe required to develop at university are the precision academics.

"So we will take carry out of the A-level synopsis and question-setting routine out of the hands of bureaucrats and instead commission universities, examination play [and] schooled societies… with the charge of ensuring these education are rigorous."

The move was in between a array of reforms to the curriculum and exams done by the Tories.

Mr Gove additionally pronounced that the National Curriculum would be rewritten in the first year of a Conservative government, with special concentration on the basis of English, arithmetic and science.

The move would mention the core believe indispensable to be taught in each key theatre of propagandize given of a "woeful absence" of theme calm in the existent curriculum, he said.

In serve announcements, he additionally pronounced that the Governments Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA), that maintains and updates the curriculum, would be scrapped.

After the first theme renovate to be introduced by Sep 2011 the Tories have affianced to concede the curriculum to be "left alone to bed down but consistent rewriting".

Mr Gove additionally pronounced that state schools would be authorised to come in students for the International GCSE an pick examination lucky in most in isolation schools that is now criminialized in the state sector.

And each student would be given an "entitlement" to investigate all 3 sciences in between the age of fourteen and 16, he said. Currently, usually a minority of students take biology, chemistry and production as apart GCSE subjects.

The announcements are piece of an try by the Tories to benefaction themselves as guardians of high educational standards in the face of some-more than a decade of disappearing standards.

Labour has discharged claims over dumbing down and insisted the series of teenagers withdrawal propagandize with a education in the basis has risen year on year.

Iain Wright, the Schools Minister, said: "Michael Gove is possibly confused or creation it up as he goes along.

"We not long ago determined Ofqual as an eccentric regulator of examination standards, that reports without delay to Parliament rather than ministers.

"Universities and alternative stakeholders are already at large consulted when new education are being developed, and exams are set by eccentric examination play inside of the horizon set by Ofqual."

Mary Bousted, ubiquitous cabinet member of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "Michael Gove has a good clarity of irony.

"He wants to finish domestic division - by interfering. On one palm he wants to finish [Government] and QCDA impasse in environment A-levels whilst on the alternative plans to shift the curriculum to fit the Conservative Partys bulletin of rigour."

On Tuesday, Diana Johnson, the Schools Minister, voiced a �11.8 million programme to precision 1,500 new dilettante maths teachers in first schools.

She said: "There has never been a some-more critical time to smash in to the efforts in to creation the young kids the most appropriate in the universe at maths, with the series of jobs associated to science, maths and record growing.

"In 2009, around 100,000 some-more young kids left first propagandize secure in the basis than in 1997, and weve jumped from 17th to seventh in the general joining tables for maths given the mid-nineties.

"But theres no room for complacency. Skilling up the first teachers to turn maths experts will assistance get pupils vehement about maths, and additionally enthuse them to stay guidance for longer."


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