Inequality at A level

first_imgPressure is growing for more fair university admissions procedures. Recently, calls for reform have intensified after research showed pupils of independent schools are up to five times more likely to achieve the highest marks in their exams than their state school peers. The findings, reported in last week’s Cherwell, come as AQA, the UK’s largest exam board, has warned against proposals for creating a new A-level A* grade to pick out the very top pupils. A higher exam grade would increase the gap between the public and private sectors in education even further. Currently, in physics, the proportion of independent school pupils achieving top A level grades is double those in the state system. However unbalanced this figure is, an even more concerning 1.6% of comprehensive school pupils taking the A level gained enough marks for the equivalent of the proposed A* grade, compared to the 9% who would have qualified from independent schools. John Dunford, the general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, also rejected the ‘super-grade’ option, declaring that releasing A level marks would achieve the same end as introducing a new mark. Oxford University say their admission requirements “are sufficient in determining suitable candidates.”ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img

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