A-Levels to be scrapped says Sunak

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  • Advanced British Standard: Sunak qualification will replace A-levels and T-levels
    The prime minister wants more students to study maths and English until the age of 18.
    www.bbc.co.uk

    A new qualification has been announced by Sunak today which would mean the scrapping of A-levels and replaced by a new system where all students will study five subjects including English and Maths until 18.

    We've had similar announcements before about the studying of English and Maths to 18 and I think this is fine for those who are academically up to it, but what about the rest?

    This new system should be in place for kids about to start primary school now, so is this nothing more than PR rather than a genuine push to change things by the government? If it's such a good idea, why not do it now?

  • How many times do the Tories need to be told that the one thing business craves is predictability? This will be confusing for businesses that know how to value A level and degree achievements.

    And of course it's yet another disruption to schools and education in general that's barely recovered from Gove's idiot tinkering 10 years ago.

    And did they actually consult with schools and education leaders before announcing imposition of this dogma? No they didn't.

    I score this idea C minus

  • Before I retired I was often asked to interview youngsters that has just left the education system who had applied for Job vacancies, many of them had enough qualifications for the posts of offer, sadly many of them were very inarticulate not well read they lacked communication skills

    Other applicants from overseas were very often better educated far more mature and most could speak more than one language especially English which is still just about the language of business worldwide for the time being.

    Sadly our education system is not as good as it should and could be, that is why some of our youngsters leave full time education that have little or no qualifications , poor command of their own language, numeracy etc

    In my day those who left school at the age of 15 years with no qualifications could at least find manual work of some kind they are not as plentiful today, some that had the ability to pass the 11 plus went to a better Grammar schools , those that could not such as I went to the local Secondary Modern Schools.

    What was also available but over subscribed was a Technical School for those who wanted to learn a trade , an excellent idea we need more builders, plumbers , electricians, etc some of my friends back then did well and eventually started their own business and did far better than some that went to the Grammar or Secondary Schools

    We need to ensure that the youngsters of today are better educated to survive in a very competitive world, we need better Teachers to help them

  • I score this idea C minus

    Me too. And your point about business confusion is a good one.

    Business' need to know that the qualifications are genuine, but if everyone has to do them, no doubt the quality will fall.

  • Maybe we should teach the kids to teach the teachers as we have a shortage of teachers and the teachers themselves these days are not as well educated :rolleyes: Exams are pretty irrelevant IMO and they keep changing the ballpark. Even today's A levels are not at the standard that they once where and are probably more the equivalent of the older O levels now. It's basically just a label to add to your CV which sadly may win you the job over the more intelligent person that happens to have lesser or no qualifications but is more than capable of doing the job, reads, writes and has a tonne of common sense and a natural ability to the do the job along with the right attitude and willingness to learn from their fellow colleagues.

    Apprenticeships is the way to go IMO. Much of what is learnt at school is irrelevant in the real world and many companies will have their own way of doing things and want you to change your ways and adapt to their way of thinking and doing things. As long as you can read, write and have a basic understanding of maths what else do you need...maybe throw science in there but that's about all one needs to know to then move forward and delve deeper if they wish. Nothing you learn at school is going to prepare you for the real world.

  • I can never fathom why in my maths lesson we were taught things like matrices. What real world application would they have for most people?? Fully agree, Norra. Learning maths until 18 seems crazy for most. How about ensuring that all pupils can count, before moving onto more complex stuff.

    And agree about the apprenticeships. Young people need real skills that will get them real jobs.

  • I think things like home economics, cookery for example would serve people better. I also think there should be lessons on the law and your rights and maybe some aspects of politics could be added to this. I would ban religious education unless specifically a religious school and I would get rid of learning any foreign language. If one wants to learn French or Spanish that can be done as extra curriculum activities. Even geography I don't see much point in this day and age with the Internet and so many national geographic type programmes.

  • I can never fathom why in my maths lesson we were taught things like matrices. What real world application would they have for most people?? . . .

    Matrices were the start of my departure from finding maths interesting. Just seem to be a set of non intuitive rules contrived for the sake of having contrived rules especially with the bizarre multiplication rules. In a subsequent highly technical career I never once needed them.

  • I think things like home economics, cookery for example would serve people better. I also think there should be lessons on the law and your rights and maybe some aspects of politics could be added to this. I would ban religious education unless specifically a religious school and I would get rid of learning any foreign language. If one wants to learn French or Spanish that can be done as extra curriculum activities. Even geography I don't see much point in this day and age with the Internet and so many national geographic type programmes.

    …And your responsibilities…

  • I think things like home economics, cookery for example would serve people better. I also think there should be lessons on the law and your rights and maybe some aspects of politics could be added to this. I would ban religious education unless specifically a religious school and I would get rid of learning any foreign language. If one wants to learn French or Spanish that can be done as extra curriculum activities. Even geography I don't see much point in this day and age with the Internet and so many national geographic type programmes.

    A lot to digest there

    Home Economics absolutely but not what it became which was too much cookery and dress making. Needs emphasis on the £ economics and food hygiene aspects.

    Don't agree on foreign languages and geography which should be to at least to a basic level. Understanding that the world is not the same all over is very important.

    Agree on ending Religious Education other than to a very basic appreciation of the diverse religions of the world. And I'd largely ban religious schools and any home education not subject to frequent Ofsted checks.

  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-67008206

    A new qualification has been announced by Sunak today which would mean the scrapping of A-levels and replaced by a new system where all students will study five subjects including English and Maths until 18.

    We've had similar announcements before about the studying of English and Maths to 18 and I think this is fine for those who are academically up to it, but what about the rest?

    This new system should be in place for kids about to start primary school now, so is this nothing more than PR rather than a genuine push to change things by the government? If it's such a good idea, why not do it now?

    I think this shows why academics should keep out of education policy. It’s a lousy idea that serves to benefit nobody. Anyone who requires advanced English and maths for either university entrance or their chosen career path will be doing it anyway. Does a hospital porter need this education level? Or a brick layer or burger flipper in McDonalds?

    If in the future everyone has the same qualifications how do we differentiate for employment opportunities? Probably by skin colour and gender and sexuality.

    Celebrate it, Anticipate it, Yesterday's faded, Nothing can change it, Life's what you make it

  • That’s right. By trying to force education down people’s throats who are not academic dooms them to a feeling of failure from their childhood years.

    We need to educate people to the maximum of their potential, not the potential of the academics.

  • I think this shows why academics should keep out of education policy. It’s a lousy idea that serves to benefit nobody. Anyone who requires advanced English and maths for either university entrance or their chosen career path will be doing it anyway. Does a hospital porter need this education level? Or a brick layer or burger flipper in McDonalds?

    I wouldn't want to be a teacher trying to teach a load of people advanced English and Maths, when they want to work in a beauty salon or be on a building site. Fully agree.

    If in the future everyone has the same qualifications how do we differentiate for employment opportunities? Probably by skin colour and gender and sexuality.

    Yeah. That'll go well. ^^

  • Matrices were the start of my departure from finding maths interesting. Just seem to be a set of non intuitive rules contrived for the sake of having contrived rules especially with the bizarre multiplication rules. In a subsequent highly technical career I never once needed them.

    I liked matrices, but when they moved onto quadratic equations.... =O

    I was never taught the basics properly, so all that other crap was a complete waste of time.

    I see Sunak is talking about things like exchange rates, interest rates and other real world things should be taught maths and that I fully support, just not to 18.

  • Sunak’s education nonsense is..well, nonsense. They need to change education to fit the child, rather than to meet political aspirations.

  • If in the future everyone has the same qualifications how do we differentiate for employment opportunities?

    It's going to come down to what employment opportunities there are left. For the majority there will be no such thing as getting a job as robots and AI will be doing all the work. There's going to be massive social changes and way of life for the kids today growing up so this is all moot anyway. It's basically all about political flexing of the muscles to try and win votes. As we move forward there will be less and less jobs available. The machines now have a brain so no longer require a human brain behind them. They can think for themselves from all the data already collected over the years. At the speed things are moving can you imagine what life will be like in 50 years when you consider how much has changed in the last 50 years. Even on the next 10 years there will be huge changes. AI is going to change everything in a similar way to the Industrial Revolution did.

    Sam Altman Says He Intends to Replace Normal People With AI
    OpenAI CEO Sam Altman hopes that artificial general intelligence will be able to replace the so-called "median human."
    futurism.com
  • I think things like home economics, cookery for example would serve people better.

    I did home economics and thankfully there were two other boys in the class too! ^^

    I also think there should be lessons on the law and your rights and maybe some aspects of politics could be added to this. I would ban religious education unless specifically a religious school and I would get rid of learning any foreign language. If one wants to learn French or Spanish that can be done as extra curriculum activities. Even geography I don't see much point in this day and age with the Internet and so many national geographic type programmes.

    Oooh, as Steve said, a lot to digest there.

    Ok, on geography, no, I disagree. I think it's essential that geography is taught, which includes all about the natural world.

    On RE, that's harder... I do think RE should be taught, at least pupils should be taught the basics of the major religions and what the followers of those religions believe. I also think it should be linked into history lessons too, as religion has been such a major factor in world/historical affairs.

    On foreign languages, I'm on the fence on this. I had a German teacher in third year (I don't know what they call it now) and he was excellent. If he had stayed on, I would've done an olevel/gcse on it, but he left at the end of the year. I think learning a language does deepen understanding of another country, but.... English is so wide spoken now. Hard one, that.

    I think, I maybe wrong, that as part of the National Curriculum, pupils are taught about our constitution, so some law there, but yes. Law, politics, your rights, consumer rights (perhaps taught in a maths lesson) should be covered at a basic level

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