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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Tomlinson seeks views about A-levels
Mike Tomlinson
Mike Tomlinson: Open to ideas
Anyone with an opinion on what should be done about A-levels is being asked to contribute to the review by Mike Tomlinson.

The former chief inspector of England's schools has produced an interim report which led to the upgrading of almost 2,000 students' A-level and AS-level results.

The second part of his remit is to report by November on how the standard of A-levels can be maintained and their credibility secured.

Mr Tomlinson is inviting "anyone who believes they have relevant evidence or views to submit" to do so by the end of October.

Heart of the matter

His inquiry was set up by the Education Secretary, Estelle Morris, in response to complaints from schools that students' results appeared to have been downgraded this summer - in particular by the OCR exam board.

Following the review process he set up, grades were raised in 10 A-level subjects and four AS-level, all with OCR.

Ms Morris asked him to go on to investigate the arrangements at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority - QCA - and the exam boards "setting, maintaining and judging A-level standards, which are challenging, and ensuring their consistency over time".

He was also asked to recommend "action with the aim of securing the credibility and integrity of these exams."

Mr Tomlinson says he particularly wants people's views on a list of issues - including the way AS papers and A2s account for 50% of an A-level but are supposed to be of differing difficulty.

This issue was at the heart of the confusion over what the standard should be, on which Mr Tomlinson has already reported.

  • the way people have to apply to universities before they have got their A-level results
  • the number and variety of A-level subjects and options
  • the responsibilities of the QCA, the exam boards and the Department for Education
  • the organisation of, and relationship between, the exam boards
  • the processes for setting, marking and grading A-levels
  • promoting greater understanding of the system
  • the use of information and communication technology in assessment
The address is:
    Inquiry into A-Level Standards
    1D Caxton House
    Tothill Street
    London SW1H 9NA
    E-mail: alevel.standardsinquiry@dfes.gsi.gov.uk
    Fax: 020 7273 5035
The alleged A-level grades manipulation

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