Congratulations to students, but high-stakes A-levels do not demonstrate what students can do, says NEU

Congratulations to everyone receiving their AS- and A-level results today. The results will be a testament to the hard work and commitment shown by students, their families and school and college staff in the face of all the changes to these qualifications, says the National Education Union.

Amanda Brown, deputy general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Congratulations to the students and staff who have worked so hard to achieve today’s results.

“However, changing the assessment of A-levels so they focus on high-stakes exams taken at the end of two years of study does not allow students to properly demonstrate their ability and puts them under huge pressure. Coursework and other non-exam assessments are a better way for students to demonstrate their skills, are less of a memory test, and help lower attaining students and those with special educational needs and disabilities show their achievements.

“Teachers have told the National Education Union about seeing increases in mental health issues among students who have multiple qualifications assessed in this way (New GCSEs and-A levels are damaging students' mental health).

“We are also seeing the narrowing of the options available to students. Decoupling AS-levels from A-levels has led to most students now only studying three subjects post-16 which gives them a less broad curriculum than previously. And the real-terms funding cuts mean that many schools and particularly sixth form colleges cannot offer the broad range of subjects they were previously able to teach.”

ENDS

Press release
16 August 2018