Saturday, 15 March 2008
I think that the A Level system might have been broken. Until a few years ago a school got paid for the number of courses that it ran in 6th form which apart from allowing courses to run with only a few students in it guaranteed a fairly uniform payout every year. The system has been changed so that schools get paid per student. So now a course has to have enough students to justify itself financially so good bye to subjects like Geology and Archaeology with Music and languages only just hanging in there. Secondly it used to be strict 5 C grades got you into the 6th form but now we are getting students with D Grades or a C on the Foundation level paper wanting to do A levels. Fine but they have to be realistic that at best the will get an E grade and more than likely fail and would be far better on an apprenticeship, practical course or on a trainee scheme at some like Norwich Union. We would advise them to leave in more stringent fashion but you get paid for the number of people on the course at the start, middle and end so it is in our interest to carry them to just before the exam. It would be best in everyone's interest not to let them start.