Since its introduction over 50 years ago, the A-level has been a constant subject of debate in schools, HE and government. Sometimes hailed as a 'gold standard', there is now intense speculation about the future of the A-level in particular, but also about post-14 qualifications in general. The furore about quality and standards which accompanies each year's A-level results has become an annual fixture in the UK press calendar. With the introduction of Curriculum 2000, and an increasing number of calls for Baccalaureate-style examinations, vocational qualifications and more, the need for serious debate - and change in this field is clear.
Based on primary research by two of the leading commentators on the qualifications, this book is a wide-ranging and critical view of the fundamental approaches of the education system in Britain today. With government action on this subject looking inevitable, this will be a challenging and important book for anyone interested in this debate.
Ann Hodgson and Ken Spours are both lecturers and researchers in the Institute of Education's Lifelong Learning Group, University of London. Together they have edited many notable books and articles in this field, including Dearing and Beyond (1997) and New Labour's Educational Agenda (1999) both now published by RoutledgeFalmer.
'Their book is very sound and will be an important survey of this fascinating field for years.' - British Journal of Educational Technology