Chief Executive of the Political Studies Association (PSA), Helena Djurkovic, today wrote to new Education Secretary Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, new Universities Minister Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, and OFQUAL’s Chief Regulator Glenys Stacey, outlining concerns regarding the ongoing A-level reforms.

Paying particular attention to Government and Politics A-level, in her letters Ms Djurkovic outlined the concerns of the PSA’s teacher and academic members over the timetable of the reforms; the narrowing of the A-level syllabus; and the reformed A-level structure.

Commenting, Chief Executive of the Political Studies Association, Helena Djurkovic said:

“As well as further study, increasing young people’s knowledge and understanding of politics prepares students for many forms of employment.  

“Whilst we are not making a case for or against A-level qualifications being assessed on a linear principle, we are concerned that this could lead to a narrowing A-level syllabus where only 3 linear subjects are selected in a student’s first year of Key Stage 5 study.

“Additionally, we share the concern of many of our teacher members that Government and Politics A-level will be among the final A-levels to be reformed, leaving it in continued uncertainty and with the possible consequence of schools deciding to cease teaching the subject.

“Finally, the co-teachability of the AS and A-level specifications remains unclear and there are outstanding questions around whether schools will find it difficult to timetable and resource this.

“There is also the further concern from an admissions point of view that offers will have to be made on predicted grades without any firm evidence of performance at the end of Year 12.  I have written to [Rt Hon] Greg Clark MP to learn what steps the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is taking to encourage a continued structure whereby HE institutions can make solid and appropriate admission decisions.

“Government and Politics is a valued and important element of sixth form study and we urge DfE, BIS and OFQUAL to consider the concerns which we have outlined.”