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Advisory board calls for changes to A level content

An A Level Content Advisory Board set up by Russell Group universities has published its final guidance on the content of a new set of A-Levels in classical and modern languages, mathematics, further mathematics and geography.

The guidance calls for a range of content changes to qualifications which will be ready for the first intake of students in 2016. It also restates the Board’s view that teaching of the new mathematics and further mathematics A levels should be delayed until 2017. This is to ensure the first cohort of A-Level students on the new courses have taken the updated GCSE course in mathematics.

Changes to the courses suggested by the board include:

  • The Ancient and Classical Languages qualification should provide a framework to encourage students to show originality, creativity and ambition
  • Following concerns about the size of the modern languages qualification, the panel suggested the number of themes to be studied at A level should be reduced from six to four
  • ALCAB says that "mathematical problem-solving" should be at the heart of the new mathematics A level

Professor Nigel Thrift, Chair of ALCAB and Vice-Chancellor of Warwick University, said: “ALCAB has listened carefully to comments on the content of the A levels which we reviewed. We have made changes in a number of areas to take account of them.

“The revised qualifications have benefited from this scrutiny and we commend them to students and teachers. These are top quality qualifications and among the best in the world.

“Universities have responded positively to the invitation to review these A levels and recommend improvements. We look forward to seeing the new A levels being introduced over the next few years.”