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Independent schools abandon the modular system - is the state-private gap widening?

15 January 2010

A recent survey suggests that independent schools are returning to traditional A-levels as opposed to the modular, AS system. Students will only sit exams at the end of the 2 year course with no exams in the interim. This move reflects the trend at GCSE level where, last year, more independent schools adopted the International GCSE (iGCSE) curriculum, which they deem more rigorous.

But are independent schools customising their curriculum to ensure a higher return for exam-savvy students? Currently, the government does not fund the iGCSEs in state schools as they do not match the national curriculum. This failure to recognise the qualification skews league tables and will undoubtedly lead to university entry confusion.

With the potential for the two-tiered system to become even more pronounced, should independent schools be reined in, or should the government become more flexible?

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Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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