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Kidderminster principal calls exam changes 'insulting'
THE principal of a Kidderminster school has labelled the Coalition Government’s planned overhaul of A-levels “insulting”.
Dave Seddon, of Baxter College, was speaking to The Shuttle after revealing 100 per cent of his Alevel students had achieved grades A* to E this year.
He criticised plans by Education Secretary Michael Gove to reform A-levels from 2015.
Changes would see pupils gain the qualification by sitting exams at the end of two years of study, instead of first year AS level exams and January exams counting towards the final grade.
Mr Gove also wants “leading universities” to be “more closely involved in developing the content of the new A-levels”. Those changes would start with maths and further maths, English literature, the sciences, languages, history and geography.
Mr Gove said changes needed to be made because many universities were “concerned” about the standard of current A-levels.
Mr Seddon said: “It is insulting to how well these kids have done.
The reality is the exam situation never happens again once you leave school or university – all it is testing is your memory, not what you actually know.
“His [Mr Gove’s] view is that exams are getting too easy but actually the education system and quality of resources today is far better. Everybody needs to do what he classes as a ‘good’ GCSE or A-level.
“For a lot of our kids, it is not a measure of intelligence. We have got some really bright kids who will make a real contribution to society but they are interested in vocational things rather than, say, Latin.
“Providing for all different types of student is what our society needs.”
Mr Seddon was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year for his services to education.
He has been key to the Habberley Road school’s transformation, from “crisis school”
in 2003 to recognition by Ofsted for outstanding leadership in 2012, with year-on-year exam results increases.
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