UK PM Rishi Sunak has announced his plans to replace A-levels with the new Advanced British Standard (ABS) in order to create the "best education system in the Western world."
In order to achieve "parity of esteem" between academic and technical courses, the prime minister said at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester that he would combine A levels and technical T-levels into a brand-new ABS.
Teaching unions, however, instantly dismissed Sunak's proposal as "pie in the sky" after Downing Street acknowledged that it might take ten years to implement.
The prime minister was charged with being "out of touch" with issues that were more urgent, such as staff shortages and crumbling structures. After he reiterated that he wanted students to take more subjects and more hours, the PM tried to deflect criticism concerning the number of teachers.
To "attract and retain" more employees, teachers in "key subjects" will get special bonuses totaling up to £30,000 tax-free throughout the first five years of their careers. "Our teachers do one of the most valuable jobs... and we should reward them for that," Sunak remarked.
According to the new ABS qualification, sixth-formers will now be expected to take five topics rather than three, the PM announced, noting that he intended children to spend at least 195 hours more with a teacher.
“A-level students generally only do three subjects compared to the seven studied by our economic competitors,” he said. “Our 16 to 19-year-olds spend around a third less time in the classroom than some of our competitors.”
“The Advanced British Standard will change that too, with students typically studying five subjects and thanks to the extra teaching time we are introducing, the great breadth won’t come at the expense of depth which is such a strength of our system.”
However, Sunak's revisions quickly drew criticism. Sam Freedman, a specialist in schools and a former Michael Gove advisor at the Department for Education, said Sunak was wrong to intercede.
“The Advanced British Standard is David Miliband’s Diploma reborn. The one that Michael Gove killed off because it didn’t work,” he tweeted.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT, a union for school leaders, claimed that it demonstrated how "out of touch" the government was with current issues in the system, such as issues with hiring and retention as well as deteriorating school infrastructure.
“The government should be focusing on fixing those, not announcing yet another round of seismic changes to exams and qualifications,” said the union chief.
Daniel Kebede, general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), added, “Rishi Sunak is doubling down on pie-in-the-sky education policies. He is completely out of touch with reality. There is no magic wand to create English and maths teachers in sufficient numbers to educate 11-16-year-olds – let alone at A-Level too.”
This autumn, the government will begin a consultation before releasing a white paper outlining the implementation process.
The revelation came as Sunak touted Tory initiatives to boost apprenticeships and threatened to discourage colleges from enrolling students in programmes that "do nothing for their life chances" (the latest Tory attack on so-called Mickey Mouse degrees).
The PM told party members that Labour had “pursued the false dream” of 50% of children going to university. “This assumption that the only route to success was the university route was one of the great mistakes of the last 30 years.”
He added, “It led to thousands of young people being ripped off by degrees that did nothing to increase their employability or earnings potential. So we are stopping universities from enrolling students on courses that do nothing for their life chances – under us no more rip-off degrees.”
Ivanka Trump is seen posing for photos, smiling with her Paris designer friend Maria de la Orden
The teens were involved in the events leading to Paty's murder outside his school in a Paris suburb
The very low-fat icy Chinese popsicle is dusted with chilli, cumin, scallions and coriander
Top 10 fiction books of 2023 are long, physical journeys across countries and continents, as well as one on foot...
After UNLV shooting, cops discovered a list of targets and a "last will" when investigating Anthony Polito's residence
Many people are wondering if to ask their guests to leave shoes outside before entering their house