Bolton headteacher slams A-level reforms
A-LEVEL reforms are “patchy and incoherent”, according to the head of Bolton’s leading school.
Philip Britton, head of Bolton School boys’ division, said the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, had “tinkered with” rather than reformed the new science advanced level qualifications to be taught in September, 2015.
The head of one of the country’s top schools said a “mismatch” between education and politics lay at the “heart” of failed educational initiatives.
SCORE — a partnership of the Association for Science Education, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Society of Biology — said the societies have not been involved in any meaningful way in discussions around the content of A-level.
Mr Britton, who is the Vice President (Education) of Institute of Physics, said: “Physics teachers had high hopes when the reform of A-levels was first suggested and it seemed that the professional bodies, such as The Institute of Physics, would be involved.
“They have the ideal blend of industry, research, academics and teachers to really design a great curriculum.
“Instead the reforms are once again patchy and incoherent, rushed through to an artificial timescale.”
He added: “SCORE especially hoped that assessment would be seriously reviewed, since that will then influence standards, teaching and how students perceive the subject. That does not seem to have happened at all.
“Meaningful educational reform needs a properly independent, evidence based and long term approach. Children are in school 13 years — Governments generally last five. That mismatch is at the heart of many failed educational initiatives.”
SCORE said significant change to the current assessment is needed to tackle the issues of students lacking appropriate skills.
A statement from SCORE added: “We support Mr Gove’s notion that the main users of A-levels — higher education and employers — should have a stronger say in devising A-level content.
“We do not believe, however, that the process used for reform has been effective in achieving this.”
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