Headington School headteacher advises against scrapping A-Levels

The Oxford Times: Caroline Jordan Caroline Jordan

A HEADTEACHER has responded to a report that recommends scrapping A-Levels by saying the qualifications should not be completely abandoned.

An expert group said schools should opt in favour of a European-style baccalaureate because A-Levels are failing to prepare teenagers for university and the workplace.

The conclusions were part of a six-month inquiry led by Sir Roy Anderson, ex-rector of Imperial College London.

Headington School already offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) to sixth form students, with a chance to study six subjects across the two years.

The report claimed too many sixth-formers doing A-Levels left school with poor levels of writing, basic numeracy, critical thinking, problem-solving, time management and an inability to work independently.

But headteacher Caroline Jordan said it would not yet look to scrap A-Levels altogether.

She said: “At Headington, we are in the enviable position of being able to offer A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate diploma and we have noticed an increase in the number of girls who choose the IB.

“This is partly due to dissatisfaction with the current A-Level system, as well as greater respect from universities for the IB qualification.

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“For many girls, taking a wider curriculum at sixth form, including maths and a language, is a good option and increasingly welcomed by universities and industry. But for some, for example the true linguists and scientists, a traditional A-Level route may be preferable.

“At this stage, we would certainly not be looking to abandon A-Levels altogether.”

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