Tag Archives: A-levels

A life in higher education: unconditionally yours?

There’s been rampant growth in unconditional offers for university places

I wonder if it’s too soon to write the eulogy for conditional offers of a place at university? An unconditional offer of a place at a university of your choice reminds me of Japanese knotweed – once a rare thing – now rampant in the land and popping up every time you read an article about university entrance. Commonplace, in fact.

I understand that most gardeners would say the knotweed is a bad thing in the garden, an alien beast, and its invasion marks a radical change in the garden. I wonder if that will happen to the universities which have jumped aboard the unconditional-offer gravy train? Will they find themselves with large numbers of students with mediocre grades taking a very relaxed approach to their studies because it was easy enough to get in, and now you’re there, it’s no sweat doing well – look how many students get first-class degrees now, way more than 20 years ago, chill man, let’s start a rock band, ’cos you gotta find something to fill the days, actually you could get a few shifts in a fast food outlet…

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Be careful what you wish for

Edexcel has announced it will upload all of its marked A-level exam scripts; are we about to see A grades rise even further?

OK, so first you have to know that I am writing this on A-level results day, and whatever I intended to write has just been trumped by the newspapers reporting, not the pass marks, and not the vagaries of results over time, but something I believe to be even more important: Edexcel is today uploading all of its marked A-level exam scripts, and will offer free access to the exam scripts so teachers can judge whether a pupil or the examiner was at fault before they go through the process of challenging the grade awarded.

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