“By far the most important thing we are doing on A levels
is getting university academics back in the driving seat instead of the Department for Education,” the source [very close to education secretary Michael Gove] said. […]
[Mr Gove] wanted government to “step back”, allowing universities to take “real and committed” ownership of new A levels, giving the qualifications their endorsement so that they, rather than exam boards, “drive the system”.
But in an official response to the plans, seen by TES, Universities UK states: “We do not think it would be advisable or operationally feasible for the sector to take on the ‘ownership of the exams’, particularly in terms of formally endorsing all A levels as currently proposed.”
[UUK] argues that because A levels are a national qualification, “ultimate responsibility and accountability” for them should remain with the government. […]
Ministers believe there is a split over A levels between academics and the universities they work for, which represents a “huge problem”.
“Almost all academics want linear A levels, but universities are not run by academics and admin offices have totally different views, partly because of the cursed focus on ‘access’ which has poisoned intelligent discussion of (the) real problem, which is too many rubbish schools,” the source close to Mr Gove said.
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