A-level shake up will 'end the treadmill' of repeated exams

Help

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss has outlined the government's proposed reforms to A-levels in England, telling MPs the changes will "end the treadmill" of repeated exams.

Under the shake-up, pupils will take exams at the end of two-year courses. AS-levels will remain, but as a stand-alone exam, and will no longer count towards a full A-level.

Labour claimed AS-levels would be "rendered irrelevant" by the proposals.

The changes, which will see leading universities play a bigger role in maintaining standards, are expected to take effect in England in 2015.

Ms Truss told the Commons: "Pupils spend too much of their time thinking about exams and resits of exams that encourage a 'learn and forget' approach to studying.

"We want to end this treadmill of repeated exams that do not properly test advanced skills such as extended writing and mathematical problem-solving.

"We want questions that encourage students to think and prepare for university study. Not a satnav series of exams."

Shadow education minister Kevin Brennan said leading universities were opposed to the change.

"To describe this as a complete dog's dinner would be an insult to the pet food industry," he said.

Scotland has a different exam system, while the devolved governments in Wales and Northern Ireland will make their own decisions about whether to implement the changes to A-levels.

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.