Beverton, Moyra, Bluett, Jane, Cockcroft, Sue, Dourneen, Jean, Harris, Ann, Hodgson, John, McCarthy, Marcella and Snapper, Gary (2011) The New A Levels: A Survey of the Experience in English. English Drama Media (21). pp. 11-20. ISSN 1742-5514

The story so far
The introduction of new A Level specifications in all
subjects in 2008 represented the second major re-thinking
of A Level in a decade. Major reforms took place in 2000,
under the label Curriculum 2000, which were intended to
align A Levels more effectively in a context of widening
participation and to modernise syllabuses and subject
content. There were some successful aspects to this
change, but on the whole Curriculum 2000 was
considered a disappointment, creating as many problems
as it solved, particularly in the area of assessment (see, for
instance, Hodgson and Spours, 2003). In English, attempts
to modernise the subject were considered half-hearted by
some and rashly radical by others, but most agreed that
some aspects of the new specifications were problematic,
again especially in the area of assessment (Atherton 2003,

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