Government and Politics A-Level Looks Set To Continue
Representatives from the three main awarding bodies came together last week to discuss the future of the Government and Politics A-level to a packed room of over 45 teachers. Education Managers from Edexcel, OCR and AQA all outlined their commitment to continue to offer Government and Politics at A-level and will begin redrafting a new course specification to meet the Government’s A-level reform demands.
The meeting, organised by the Political Studies Association, was the first opportunity for teachers from across England to share their concerns with the main awarding bodies regarding the uncertain future of the Government and Politics A-Level. As Government and Politics will be one of the final A-levels to be reformed, teachers of the subject have expressed their fears that schools and colleges may decide to cease teaching it before reforms are implemented in schools in 2017. Such was the popularity of the event that it quickly became standing room only.
The awarding bodies will now have to draft a rationale for reforming the subject which has to be approved by OFQUAL, the non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England, for first teaching from 2017. If approved, all three awarding bodies outlined the need to establish subject panels for Government and Politics and the Political Studies Association will be working with the awarding bodies to support such panels.
CEO of the Political Studies Association, Helena Djurkovic, said:
“The Political Studies Association welcomes the commitment outlined by key awarding bodies to continue to offer Government and Politics at A-level and to further enhance the appeal of the subject. It is a valued and important element of sixth form study and we are very keen to help facilitate dialogue and engagement to ensure progress is being made for new course content.
“We believe that the qualification is academically rigorous and a good benchmark for universities to accurately identify the level of attainment of students planning to progress to undergraduate study at a UK Higher Education institution.
“Encouraging young people to become more engaged in politics and their communities is really important. As well as further study, increasing young people’s knowledge and understanding of politics prepares students for many forms of employment. However, the Association would support and endorse the need for a rejuvenated A-level curriculum that is suitable for the learning of political studies in a contemporary, global world and we urge OFQUAL to consider this.”
The Political Studies Association is the leading association in the United Kingdom for developing and promoting the study of politics. Although the Association’s membership is primarily drawn from institutions of higher education, the work being done the behind the scenes to ensure Government and Politics continues beyond the Government’s A-level reform agenda has seen the number of teacher members rapidly expand. More information about the PSA’s activities for schools can be found online at: www.psa.ac.uk
A video clip of the presentations made by the awarding bodies can be viewed online via the PSA’s YouTube channel: