Monday, 14 January 2008

To promote or not to promote

In that excitable way it employs to push non-stories onto the front page, today's Times informs us that teachers are to be 'told not to promote A-levels'. A clause in today's Education and Skills Bill says that teachers should not 'unduly promote any particular options'. According to the Times, this is just a sneaky way of helping Diplomas gain a foothold, and undermining A-levels. But, if that were the case, wouldn't the Government be requiring teachers to promote Diplomas? The government is right to expect impartiality from schools, not least because one big problem with the current system is that teachers are persuading pupils to go on AS level courses in order to win extra resources for the school sixth form, when a college-based vocational course might be a more suitable option. Many such youngsters drop out before taking full A-levels. The Times headline might just as easily have read 'Teachers told not to promote Diplomas'. But then that would hardly have pushed the story onto the front page, would it?

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