Magazine article Public Finance

'Academic' Diplomas Offered as A-Level Alternative

Magazine article Public Finance

'Academic' Diplomas Offered as A-Level Alternative

Article excerpt

Three new academic diplomas are to be added to the menu of vocational diplomas in what could herald a radical shake-up of the exam system.

Schools Secretary Ed Balls this week announced that diplomas in science, languages and humanities are to be rolled out in an attempt to make diplomas the qualification of choice' for pupils.

But he added that GSCEs and A-levels would remain in place. 'Because GCSEs and A-levels are long-established and valued qualifications, that should not be decided by any pre-emptive government decision, but by the demands of young people, schools and colleges,' Balls said on October 23.

A review of A-levels, planned for 2008, has been postponed and will be replaced by a general review of 14-19 qualifications to take place in 2013.

Balls said the government had been urged to use the 2008 review as an opportunity to finally abolish the A-level, in which faith has been waning. …

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