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Ofqual publishes monitoring report into new A level qualifications

New A levels in English Literature, geography, history, physics, Spanish and  design and technology have come under scrutiny in a report by Ofqual today (Friday, April 8).

Ofqual had already reported it had confidence in the 2010 A level results as a whole. The regulator has now picked out six of the new A level specifications, introduced in 2008 and awarded for the first time last summer, for further investigation.

The new report concludes that the six qualifications monitored, along with all the new A levels, are appropriate in terms of the demand they place on students at this level and that they allow students to demonstrate their full ability.

However, Ofqual  did identify issues with some questions being unclear or set at an inappropriate level for A level students.  The regulator is keen to stress that these issues were specific to the papers looked at and not representative of systemic problems with all A levels.  Ofqual has now instructed awarding organisations to take appropriate action to resolve these issues.

Glenys Stacey, Ofqual Chief Executive, comments: "Ofqual works to ensure that all qualifications meet rigorous standards. It is vital that we monitor qualifications to detect any issues and make improvements.  Awarding organisations are now drafting detailed action plans to address those specific issues identified. 

"We worked hard to ensure a successful awarding season in 2010 that was fair to all. I am delighted that today's report found that A levels overall are continuing to meet the standards set for such important qualifications. We are now undertaking a considerable piece of work to compare A levels with similar qualifications internationally."

You can download the report here [PDF 331kb]