The authors provide an overview of current policy in the 14-19 area. They cover changes to 14-19 education, diplomas, and work-based learning in the context of new developments. They provide a comprehensive and up-to-date account of the new 14-19 phase with a focus on A levels and GCSEs, the new 14-19 Diplomas vocational learning and institutional collaboration. Drawing on international and historical analysis, recent research and practice and interveiws with policy actors, the authors set out the case for a more unified and strongly collaborative approach to the organisation of upper secondary education in England. The book is intended for education practitioners, policy-makers and researchers. It is for PGCE students on new 14-19 courses, and for those following Masters level courses on 14-19 curriculum and training. The authros are both co-directors of the Nuffielld Review of 14-19 Education and Training in England and Wales, which is a six-year independent review of all aspects of 14-19 policy, research and practice funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The Review is based at the Department of Educational Studies, Oxford University.
Chapter 3: Reforming General Education
Reforming General Education
Gcses, a Levels and the Issue of Standards
General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSEs) and A Levels, which largely represent the general education track in England and dominate the 14–19 curriculum as a whole, are widely recognized by the general public. Yet every year in August, the media raises concerns about declining standards and there is a rehearsal of a bizarre English ritual. Employers’ complain about young people's lack of basic skills at 16+ Universities lament 18-year-olds’ inability to construct extended pieces of writing and bemoan the difficulties of selecting the ‘most able’ young people for prestigious courses. As part of its 14–19 reform agenda, the Government has tried to address the situation by retaining the GCSE and A Level brand ...