AN MP has proposed a radical rethink of how pupils sit exams before their head off to university - even suggesting that teachers should be made to sit tests alongside youngsters.
Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, revealed he is proposing that pupils take their exams early so that they can apply to university knowing their results, rather than receiving an offer earlier in the year based on predictions.
The MP says he has already discussed his thoughts informally with Education Secretary Michael Gove and plans to formally put them to the Department for Education (DfE).
Mr Bridgen said: “An A-level student in my constituency emailed me to suggest that teachers themselves take the A-level exams and I think this could ensure rigour in teaching if they also have to reveal their grades. I think it’s a suggestion with some merit – and the question is why wouldn’t teachers be willing to take them?”
Currently, most students apply to university courses through the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
This must be done by the January before they start at the latest.
Universities then respond during the following few months before exams are taken in May and June and results published in August.
Mr Bridgen suggested that pupils could take exams in April and results returned to them a month later, in May.
Jamie McMahon, Labour parliamentary candidate for North West Leicestershire, said: “It’s with both shock and amazement I read calls from Andrew Bridgen for teachers to sit A-level exams alongside pupils.
“The ongoing effort to ensure all teachers are of the highest standard is important, I work for a disabled children’s charity and I know how important good quality education is for the children I work tirelessly to represent.
“I completely support calls to ensure all our teachers are of the highest calibre.
“That’s why a Labour Government would reintroduce the first level of teacher standards - a requirement for all teachers in all state schools to be qualified, academies and free schools included.”
The DfE said there were on plans to make any of the suggested changes.