HC Deb 08 June 1990 vol 173 c718W
Mr. Walden

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans the Government have for the future of A-levels.

Mrs. Rumbold

The Government are committed to maintaining the standards of A-level and Advanced Supplementary examinations and improving their effectiveness in meeting the needs of students and the requirements of higher education and employment.

My right hon. Friend asked the School Examinations and Assessment Council last August to draw up general principles to govern Advanced level syllabuses and examinations, with a view to having an improved system in place by 1994. These principles will provide controls on standards, syllabus development and progression from GCSE. Draft principles will be considered by the council in July, before wider consultation.

My right hon. Friend has also more recently asked the council to advise him in July on the scope for embodying in the programmes of all Advanced level students a range of core skills needed for adult working life; and on the possibilities for credit transfer between Advanced level and vocational qualifications.

My right hon. Friend will consider carefully the implications of what the council proposes.