24th November 2017
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education bought to you by Education Advisers...
AS-level numbers drop sharply after decoupling
Entries for AS levels in sharp decline following the decoupling of the qualifications from A levels, new statistics show
The decoupling of AS and A levels has led to a sharp drop in the number of AS qualifications awarded in 2017, Ofqual statistics out today reveal.
There were 3.8 million entries and 1.5 million AS or A-level certificates awarded in 2016-17 – compared with 4.3 million entries and 2 million certificates awarded the previous year.
The drop is mostly due to fewer AS-level entries – down from 2,345,000 entries in June 2016 to 1,540,760 entries in June 2017.
This led to a fall in the number of certificates from 1,180,615 certificates in June 2016 to 670,015 in June 2017.
There were also around 6,000 fewer A-level certificates.
Students receive one certificate showing the grades they achieved from each exam board they were entered with.
Meanwhile, the Ofqual statistics show that there was a 3.3 per cent increase in the number of GCSE certificates awarded, up to 5.2 million in 2016-17. “This is, in part, due to schools moving from iGCSE to GCSE qualifications and more students taking English literature,” says the DfE report.
See also: The A Level Curriculum
'Sharp decline' in standards at private faith schools, Ofsted finds
There has been a “sharp decline” in standards at private faith schools, Ofsted has found, as nearly half are now judged to be inadequate or requiring improvement.
An analysis by the schools inspectorate said that a “higher proportion” of faith schools are failing to meet the standards for leadership and management, as well as teaching children “fundamental British values”.
The latest figures show that 49 per cent of private faith schools inspected by Ofsted were judged as being below good, of whicha quarter (26 per cent) were given the lowest possible rating of inadequate.
The schools watchdog said there had been a sharp decline in standards for all smaller, fee-paying schools, but added that this was particularly apparent in faith schools.
The details were released as part of Ofsted’s report of inspections of non-association independent schools, which tend to be smaller, fee-paying schools that not part of groups affiliated to the Independent Schools Council.
Ofsted noted that there is “a lot of variation” within different faith groups, adding that the number of faith schools they inspect has increased in recent years.
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