Letters - 05-04-12

File photo dated 02/03/12 of a maths exam in progress, as teachers feel forced to 'manipulate results' amid increasing pressure to ensure pupils pass exams, a poll suggests. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date date: Monday April 2, 2012. See PA story EDUCATION Exams. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire
File photo dated 02/03/12 of a maths exam in progress, as teachers feel forced to 'manipulate results' amid increasing pressure to ensure pupils pass exams, a poll suggests. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date date: Monday April 2, 2012. See PA story EDUCATION Exams. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire
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FOR many years, concern has been expressed over A-Level examinations and grade inflation. Several universities have had to arrange remedial classes for new undergraduates.

The core criticisms have focused on questions being too easy and assessment being too lenient.

The Education Secretary has now resurrected these concerns and has asked universities to play a much greater role in the setting of papers.

I believe he is focusing on the wrong issues. Greater university involvement will not remedy the problem.

True, many undergraduates do struggle with their degree work despite having attained high grades in their A-Levels. However, this is not the result of easier A-Level questions or improved teaching.

It is the result of three main factors that pervade A-Levels (and GCSEs).

Firstly, the modular system which leads to a failure to see a subject as a whole.

Secondly, the facility to resit modules, sometimes more than once.

Thirdly, allowing course/assignment work to count towards the final grade. It is well known such work can be copied from websites and/or be enhanced by relatives or friends.

Until these three aspects of A-Level work are banished, any changes to who sets the papers or who assesses them will fail to achieve the required and necessary improvement to standards.

DR BARRY CLAYTON

Fieldfare Close

Cleveleys

Sand and snow, the scourge of modern day travel – just don’t blame it on the boogie!

seasider07784

SAND in the clowns!

Sirarthurwasrite

IF sand in the rails on a normal stormy day is going to cause this sort of problem, Blackpool Transport is going to have a lot of trouble with the trams.

Then again, maybe it was a freak condition just coinciding with the first tram?

kennh51

Derailments are nothing new.

The heritage fleet as they are now, had some spectacular ones.

Perhaps the Gazette would be good enough to remind us of the double-decker that came off between the Tower and Central Pier, and ended up across two lanes of the promenade, jammed up against the central reservation.

Now that was a derailment!

Sand on the lines was the cause of that as well.

Planespotter

Absolute disgrace. Heads should roll! People could die if this derails at speed.

RobVanHilly