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A letter from the School’s Headmaster about the worrying state of the examinations industry has been published by The Observer. The Headmaster’s letter was provoked by the news that anthropology is the latest subject to be scrapped from A level study, due to exam board AQA rendering it uneconomic.
In The Observer on Sunday 15 February, it is discussed how the lack of flexibility and emphasis on knowledge sharing from teachers to pupils has limited the curriculum to an acquisition of facts and skills, “rather than a broad and balanced preparation for a rich life in a thinking democratic society”.
Headmaster Martin Collier commented in the article, “So anthropology is the latest A level subject to bite the dust. Not surprising considering the state of the examinations industry: awarding bodies, including AQA, cutting costs and curriculum choice dictated by ‘market forces’. Behind this process is the regulator, Ofqual, encouraging a narrowing of subject choice. What is the response of the various political parties to this shameful state of affairs? Silence.”
The Headmaster is involved in the national debate on the future of qualifications and the nature and structure of the curriculum as a member of the HMC’s academic sub-committee. Mr Collier was called to give evidence in November 2011 at the House of Commons Education Select Committee, has appeared on Sky News and has been quoted in a number of other national newspapers. The latest correspondence to The Observer is part of a wider strategy to represent the interests of all pupils in all schools.
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