Headlines: August 16th, 2002

The Local Government Association has seized on the plight of A level school leavers in its campaign to radically modernise the shape of the school year.It says that the change it proposes would make life much easier for young people applying to university.

It argues that following the publication of `A’ level results, many young people find themselves bidding for places through the `clearing’ process because university places have been offered on the basis of A level grades predicted by teachers rather than actual results.

It says that if schools moved to a six instead of three term year, students would be able to fit in exams and know the results before applying to university.

It says this system of ‘Post Qualification Application'(PQA) has been welcomed by young people in the Youth Parliament and in a MORI poll.

It also points to the fact that a working group of universities is currently consulting on the introduction of PQA.

More on proposals for a standard school year is available at www.lga.gov.uk/schoolyear.asp