Thursday, August 14, 2008

Govt A-Level Sham Fails Students

The government has failed its A-levels once again with today's record results, as sixth-formers jump around clutching their fantastic results only to turn round and see everyone is a winner, waving the same fantastic results. 

Ministers and quangoland lackeys, trotted out their well-worn phrases - 'How dare anyone put them down. We all should be celebrating their hard work, not criticising them'. 

But that's not the point, as noted in the today's Guardian.

Time and again, New Labour's 'record A-levels' has been exposed as a sham. A deliberate ploy to try to hit ridiculous targets of 50% in higher education and keep down the unemployment figures. 

They've tried every trick in the book to boost the pass rate and inflate the grades. Making exams easier, watering down exams with course-work, introducing soft subjects, skewing the statistics and tinkering with the grade boundaries. 

It's all a far cry from the days when bright, hard working sixth-formers would be rightly rewarded for their efforts, with a well-earned place at a proper university, studying a proper subject. 

And that applied just as much to the youngsters from working class backgrounds, as it did to the kids from the posh schools, which most of New Labour's top ministers attended. 

Now, for many students, it will a couple of years at Smalltown Polytech - rebranded Bigcity University - 'studying' Media and Computer Games. Until they get fed up and leave. 

Faced with the grades sham, the proper universities are trying to keep up standards by introducing their own entrance exams, because the A-levels are not worth the paper they are written on.

Disillusioned overseas students are being used to prop-up the cash-strapped rebranded polys and offered 'rotten' degrees for their efforts.  Home students are enticed with the sop of easy subjects, with the word 'studies' in the title. Without an A-level gold standard, the student drop out and failure rate at the so-called 'universities' is soaring.

Soon A-levels, in England at least, could be a thing of the past. To be replaced by vocational 'diplomas'. Industry chiefs recently warned the government what everyone else has been saying for ages - the new Diplomas to replace academic A-levels aren't worth the paper they're written on. 

So what next for the failed education experiment? Raising the school-leaving age is a neat way of taking the NEETS out of the rising unemployment figures. Then just give away the A-levels as a School Leaving Certificate. All students get results and everyone passes. 

In the shallow, fantasy world of New Labour, everyone's a winner - except the students, schools, parents, universities and this country's future. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This article is spot on! There is so much fraud in the UK govt. these days, especially in terms of the so called achievements of targets. The 50% goal is a sham, and will lead to the glorification of mediocrity and outright failure. To learn more, visit,