Rank and filed

September 1, 2011

"The mile is no longer a mile" (Letters, 25 August) and in a sense, that is as it should be. The job of A levels is to rank students in order: a place in tertiary education is (in the main) a case of gaining the grades requested. Prospective employers will also have yardsticks to judge the capacity of those leaving the school system to join the workforce or start apprenticeships.

The examining bodies should constantly review standards so that a fixed proportion of passes (and also grades) is reported each year. If the number of candidates that achieve the highest grade points increases every year, then, in the end, there will be nothing to separate them.

Gordon Joly, London

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