Response to HTRT Proposal
Good solid possibilities, but it could be better.
I've waited to see comments from those not involved in development before commenting.
I think that the key centres around focus upon what it is that we are trying to fix.
Firstly, whatever anyone thought, the GCSE brand is potentially fatally wounded now, and most thought that it did need to change to some extent in any case.
Secondly, A levels seem to divide opinion about whether they are better or worse through the A2/AS split, and do they differentiate sufficiently at the top abilities in any case.
Thirdly, inclusion is here to stay and hence any framework both needs to include opportunities for success for those students with learning challenge and include a system for recognition and measurement at Primary level so that duplication is not required through a SATS equivalent. One of my key concerns about SATS has always been that it is not a 'real' certificate for the child. Testing is fine and has value if there is a real world outcome.
Fourthly, the academic / vocational divide has always been problematic where people have tried to argue equivalence when everyone knew in reality there was not. Real equivalence is achieved by ensuring that all qualifications are moderated for real equivalent challenge. Hence there should be no differentiation in over arching qualification or 'baccalaureate' type.
Finally, any structure that will succeed needs to be simple on a basic level, with complexity developed through student pathways not through complex structure.
In conclusion, whilst I like much of what is proposed, I do believe that there are areas in the model which I originally proposed which have merit to develop (or simplify) the model above further. For those who didn't see my proposal, follow the link here.
Yes, it is a completely new qualifications framework, replacing SATS, GCSEs, BTECs/Applied and A Levels, and yes, it includes a wider range from ages 4-25, but I do believe that only a real change will bring about a long term change for the better which will survive political change.