From education to employment

Exclusive with QCA Chief

Ken Boston, speaking exclusively to FE News, provides a few minutes of his time ahead of tomorrows results.

With year-on-year percentage increases in the number of students gaining top marks at A-level, Mr Boston was keen to establish the standards. “There are two sorts of standards: assessment standards and performance standards. The assessment standard is the height of the hurdle to be jumped. The performance standard is the number who succeed in clearing that hurdle”.

“It is the job of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) to hold the height of the hurdle constant; and to ensure that from year to year it is not lowered, nor raised, but maintained. We do so successfully, and on the basis of independent opinion, no country does it better.”

Clearly emphatic about the respect and reverence he believes A-Levels command, he said: “A-levels are a world-class qualification which are recognised globally as such. The debate on standards is fuelled by deep ambivalence in the community about the purposes of education”.

“However, education is continually evolving and we must ensure that we change in line with this. We will be introducing Diplomas from 2008, which have been developed alongside businesses and employers”, he said, underlining the emphasis the QCA is placing on reform.

“These new qualifications will equip young people with the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for, giving them the essential tools to succeed in their chosen profession”.

With thanks to Ken Boston for his time.

Vijay Pattni.

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