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The Royal Society and the CBI no longer think A levels are the gold standard. Their problem is that neither the government nor the opposition have much interest in listening.

This week saw a trio of big names make some powerful arguments in support of A-level reform. They included the Royal Society’s president Venki Ramakrishnan and the Conservative MP Robert Halfon.

“A levels are no longer fit for purpose,” declared Ramakrishnan at a conference with the CBI employers’ group on 12 February. A day earlier, Halfon had gone further in a speech to the Edge Foundation, the research charity founded from the sale of exam group Edexcel to Pearson. “We must abandon GCSEs and move towards a holistic and far broader-based baccalaureate at age 18,” he said.

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