The dog's breakfast that is the English schools examination system could quite readily be cleared up. A system of public examination centres where examinations at any pre-university level could be taken by candidates of any age or status, set by a public body and marked and adjudicated under the surveillance of a public body should do the trick; on the lines of the examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. An Associated Board of the Universities of England, so to speak.
These examinations would qualify a
candidate for matriculation. There need be no rows about the abolition
of GCSEs and the creation of two-tiered systems. Current school-based
examinations of the GCSE kind with course work and resits etc., could
continue to run, providing a school-based assessment system which was
equally accessible to all school learners but didn't necessarily lead to university
study, although the universities could also set the standards needed to
matriculate by the GCSE route.
As a matter of fact, at
the moment, any examination candidate not falling within the parameters
drawn by a school-based system suffers discrimination. A dual system of
which one route was outside the schools would be more open and fairer to
everyone, regardless of age or the manner of their education. The
subjects on offer would be drawn from a wider knowledge base than
available to schools, too. We have an Open University: why not an Open
School using the modern resources available for learning now?
I think I might have a stab at classical Greek; sadly, time's up for the violin.