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In 2012, Education Secretary Michael Gove announced his intention to reform A Levels, with a more influential role for Higher Education in particular. He began a process of consultation with key stakeholders about the next generation of A Levels which is still on-going.
OCR is an active participant in these discussions and fully committed to developing new A Levels which prepare students for university study, and engage and enthuse aspiring students and teachers alike.
Based on the most recent – Spring 2013 – announcements from the government and from Ofqual, here is a summary of what we know about the next generation of A Levels:
When will the next generation of A Levels first be taught?
The date for first teaching of A Levels in named subjects is currently proposed for September 2015.
When will the first assessments take place?
New A Levels will be linear so assessment of a student’s knowledge and understanding takes place at the end of the course. The first assessment of two-year courses that start in September 2015 will be in June 2017. It is proposed that the first assessment of a new AS qualification could take place in June 2016 (see below).
What subjects will new A Levels be offered in?
Current plans are for new A Levels in 13 subjects for first teaching in September 2015. The first seven new A Levels will be in ‘facilitating subjects’ (but excluding Languages), ie: English (Language, Literature and Language and Literature); Mathematics, and Further Mathematics; Physics; Chemistry; Biology; History; Geography
In addition to the facilitating subjects, a further six subjects have been identified for redevelopment, bringing the total to 13: Psychology; Art and design; Sociology; Business studies; Economics; Computing
What is happening to AS?
Current proposals are for AS to be a standalone qualification. Unlike current AS Levels, new AS Level qualifications for first teaching in September 2015 will not contribute towards an A Level grade. The new AS qualifications will remain broadly at their current standard. In some subjects, it may be appropriate for the AS to be designed to be co-taught with the first year of the A level. The first assessment of this AS could be in June 2016.
How will Higher Education be involved in the next generation of A Levels?
It is proposed that the Russell Group of universities will develop an independent organisation which will review A Level content and performance.
For more details on future A Levels, including a timeline, take a look at the information on our next generation A Level page. You can stay up to date with all the news about the next generation of A Levels, by signing up for our A Level email updates.