Prime Minister announces plans to merge A-levels and T-levels 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced today his plans to merge A-levels and T-levels together, creating a new qualification called the Advanced British Standard (ABS). 

The school leaders’ union NAHT responded to this news. Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT said: “Today’s announcement shows just how out of touch this government has become with the teaching profession.  

“There are so many immediate crises that schools are currently dealing with, from recruitment and retention, to crumbling school buildings and the lack of support for pupils with SEND. The government should be focusing on fixing those, not announcing yet another round of seismic changes to exams and qualifications. 

“To date, there has been no meaningful engagement with the profession on any part of this announcement.  

“Whilst the government may suggest that this is just the start of a process towards further reform, it would appear they have already decided on the destination without talking to school leaders. Once again, there is a sense that ministers in Whitehall think they know better than the teachers and leaders working with pupils on a daily basis. 

“The announcement raises so many questions, most importantly where all the additional teachers needed to deliver these reforms will come from. There are also huge questions around what this means for the curriculum and for higher education.  

“Looking at post-16 qualifications in isolation from the rest of our education system shows a complete lack of understanding – we need a coherent system from early years to the end of key stage 5 where each step supports the next to enable our young people to achieve their ambitions, to be prepared for their lives outside of school and to take their next steps in education, training or employment. 

“The prime minister’s announcement that education will now be the key strategic priority for all future spending rounds is of course welcome. After 13 years of imposed austerity, we are pleased that the government now finally agrees with us that spending on education is an investment in the future of the country.” 

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