From education to employment

A Level Results Into The Future

Today, across the nation, thousands of young people were finally closing the chapter on their A Level studies standing before a notice board or nervously plucking at the seal on an envelope.

And, as has become the custom for Augusts in Britain, their results have already been diluted by the debate that rages over standards in examinations. Further to the Tomlinson Report and its recommendations, there have been renewed calls for A Levels (what Ruth Kelly, the Secretary of State for Education, has called “gold standard qualifications”) to be scrapped in tandem with GCSEs and replaced with some form of overarching diploma.

However, some within the sector, even if they do recognise the need for change in the system, take the time to stress the achievements of the students who work hard during their courses to achieve good grades and progress into their future in the direction that they choose. The National Union of Students (NUS), through their President Kat Fletcher, was at pains to stress that the negativity of standards debate should not be allowed to detract from the praise that students are entitled too.

LSC Opening up the Vista Ahead

Echoing the NUS’s sentiments regarding the achievements of the students across the country was Ian Ferguson, the Chairman of the Young People’s Learning Committee for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), who said: “We welcome this year’s results ““ they are great news for all the A level students who have worked hard to achieve them. It is important that learners are continually challenged, and that they are engaged in forms of learning suited to their abilities, which will ultimately help them gain a foothold in their career of choice.”

And on the theme of the future ““ which is after all where A Levels are meant to lead ““ Ian Ferguson stressed that there was not simply one good route and only one. “Going to university is just one option. Many already choose to go to college or to start employment as an Apprentice or with another professional or vocational qualification in mind,” he said.

In an environment where there is a wider variety of courses and choices from which to select, he recognises that this decision can often be a “daunting” one. However, help is at hand: “There are many organisations such as Learndirect and Connexions, on hand to offer advice on finding the right course or career to suit their individual skills, talents and ambitions.”

All of us at FE News would like to take this chance to congratulate all the students out there getting their results.

Jethro Marsh

Say a hearty “Well done!” in the FE Blog

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