Universities asked to provide clarity during A-level upheaval

The head of Ucas has urged universities to “move quickly” and make clear how they intend to ensure fair admissions in the light of A-level reforms

January 16, 2015

Mary Curnock Cook’s comments come in the foreword to a survey published today that reveals that a large number of schools are set to ignore government changes by continuing to make AS levels a central part of their teaching.

Changes being introduced from September will mean that AS levels no longer count towards final A-level grades. Ministers hope this will cut the number of exams being taken in sixth forms and allow more time for deeper learning.

But the survey of almost 500 schools by Ucas finds that a significant number plan to retain AS levels as an integral part of A-level courses.

In her foreword, Ms Curnock Cook says universities and colleges “can anticipate a much greater diversity of qualifications held by applicants and they will need to revise their admissions approaches to ensure that no one is disadvantaged as a result of decisions made by their school”.

“Some universities have already produced qualification reform statements, expressing their commitment to be flexible and work with schools and colleges during this transition.

“I would encourage all universities and colleges to move quickly to publish similar statements detailing how they intend to accommodate reformed qualifications within their admission processes to ensure fair admissions.”

For more on this story, see this week’s TES

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