Scrap A-levels?

Estelle Morris, previous Labour Minister for Education, moots whether the A-level system should be scrapped altogether, replaced by a International Baccalaureate-style diploma.

The Guardian conducted a poll, with 90 per cent of respondents saying that the A-level system needs a radical overhaul.

I would have thought that implementing a universal diploma could cut through the chase of all the education reforms currently being discussed in Northern Ireland. It would allow individual sectors here (e.g. CCMS, controlled, integrated, grammar, Irish-medium) to retain separate ethos yet be academically evaluated by a common yardstick.

Yet as Morris says herself, no politician wants to be the one who is remembered for abolishing the A-levels. I think it could be done, if intelligently and with some will. But if no Labour MP is going to lead the way, you can be rest assured no Northern Ireland politician is going to stick his/her neck out!

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