The 3 Exam Boards In England Should Merge

Merge the current exam boards Edexcel, AQA and OCR. Or alternatively give the contract to just one of them.

When a school is selecting which exam board to enter it pupils on to, it rationally selects the exam board with the reputation for asking the easiest (and most consistent) questions.

You cannot blame schools and teachers for acting in this manner, especially in a time when league tables hold such sway in the minds of parents, governors and media.

Exam boards currently have an equally rational desire to provide as many exam papers to as many schools as possible. You therefore have this 'race to the bottom' in terms of difficulty in exam papers.   

The only solution is to have 1 exam board, independent of central government, which will write the papers for all GCSE and A level students in the country.

Why is this idea important?

Merge the current exam boards Edexcel, AQA and OCR. Or alternatively give the contract to just one of them.

When a school is selecting which exam board to enter it pupils on to, it rationally selects the exam board with the reputation for asking the easiest (and most consistent) questions.

You cannot blame schools and teachers for acting in this manner, especially in a time when league tables hold such sway in the minds of parents, governors and media.

Exam boards currently have an equally rational desire to provide as many exam papers to as many schools as possible. You therefore have this 'race to the bottom' in terms of difficulty in exam papers.   

The only solution is to have 1 exam board, independent of central government, which will write the papers for all GCSE and A level students in the country.

A* Results at A Level and GCSE should be for the top 10% only

A* grades at both A Level and GCSE should be allocated to the top 10% of candidates in the country.

When an exam is marked it scores from 0 to 100 percent and the threshold for grade bands is, for instance, 70% correct answers for a B and 80% correct for an A.

Those who reach these thresholds should rightly be given their appropriate grade. However A* should be reserved for the top 10% of candidates, not just some one who scores over, for instance, 85%.

A candidate's paper would be marked to the percent and given an A grade for achieving 80%, and only after all papers are marked would the A* percentage threshold be set, to allow a 10% quota of candidates through. If their paper achieved this amount they would then be upgraded to the A*. Logistically, if really necessary, this upgrade could happen a couple of weeks after the initial GCSE results are revealed.

Why is this idea important?

A* grades at both A Level and GCSE should be allocated to the top 10% of candidates in the country.

When an exam is marked it scores from 0 to 100 percent and the threshold for grade bands is, for instance, 70% correct answers for a B and 80% correct for an A.

Those who reach these thresholds should rightly be given their appropriate grade. However A* should be reserved for the top 10% of candidates, not just some one who scores over, for instance, 85%.

A candidate's paper would be marked to the percent and given an A grade for achieving 80%, and only after all papers are marked would the A* percentage threshold be set, to allow a 10% quota of candidates through. If their paper achieved this amount they would then be upgraded to the A*. Logistically, if really necessary, this upgrade could happen a couple of weeks after the initial GCSE results are revealed.

The Rational Triumvirate! Regulate – Educate – Revenue Generate (Legalise Cannabis/NHS Heroin/Decriminalised Possession of All Drugs)

The pursuit of liberty, deficit reduction and a safer society along the way…

Cannabis represents a massive commercial opportunity that up to now has only been available to organised crime. The jobs and tax revenues that would stem from a cafe culture would be a welcome addition to the legal economy, and by definition would be taking money and jobs from the criminal underworld.

Heroin is the most damaging of the illegal drugs. Registering addicts and giving them free heroin in clinics along with clean needles, safe doses and therapy, offers the best value for all of society. A vast amount of the theft and burglary in this country is due to acquisitive crime to fund a heroin addiction. This would virtually disappear with NHS heroin clinics.

We are currently in control (a bit) of the largest heroin producing nation in the world. Perhaps us purchasing the good from the farmers rather than the war lords might go some way to creating some jobs and stability in Afghanistan. There is also a global shortage of medical morphine which would represent a decent export for the country.

Decriminalising possession for personal use of all illegal drugs is simply an attempt to reduce our prison population and free the police from the burden of dealing with such a prevalent, yet victimless crime. It is a liberal and realistic approach to a problem that is not going to go away.

Why is this idea important?

The pursuit of liberty, deficit reduction and a safer society along the way…

Cannabis represents a massive commercial opportunity that up to now has only been available to organised crime. The jobs and tax revenues that would stem from a cafe culture would be a welcome addition to the legal economy, and by definition would be taking money and jobs from the criminal underworld.

Heroin is the most damaging of the illegal drugs. Registering addicts and giving them free heroin in clinics along with clean needles, safe doses and therapy, offers the best value for all of society. A vast amount of the theft and burglary in this country is due to acquisitive crime to fund a heroin addiction. This would virtually disappear with NHS heroin clinics.

We are currently in control (a bit) of the largest heroin producing nation in the world. Perhaps us purchasing the good from the farmers rather than the war lords might go some way to creating some jobs and stability in Afghanistan. There is also a global shortage of medical morphine which would represent a decent export for the country.

Decriminalising possession for personal use of all illegal drugs is simply an attempt to reduce our prison population and free the police from the burden of dealing with such a prevalent, yet victimless crime. It is a liberal and realistic approach to a problem that is not going to go away.

TV Licence rolled into Council Tax

Let be realistic here – the vast majority of us have a television or radio or laptop.

Whether you watch / listen / read the BBC content on TV / Radio / BBC News Website is broadly irrelevant. You still benefit from the competition the BBC provides to other terrestrial broadcasters and SKY etc.

This comes in the form of enhanced content, training of talent, and downward pressure on advertising time, to name but a few.

The benefits of scrapping the individual TV license and making it a basic additional to council tax would simply be a reduction in, bureaucracy and costs. 

No one would ever again be prosecuted or taken to court on the basis of not paying their licence fee.

Why is this idea important?

Let be realistic here – the vast majority of us have a television or radio or laptop.

Whether you watch / listen / read the BBC content on TV / Radio / BBC News Website is broadly irrelevant. You still benefit from the competition the BBC provides to other terrestrial broadcasters and SKY etc.

This comes in the form of enhanced content, training of talent, and downward pressure on advertising time, to name but a few.

The benefits of scrapping the individual TV license and making it a basic additional to council tax would simply be a reduction in, bureaucracy and costs. 

No one would ever again be prosecuted or taken to court on the basis of not paying their licence fee.

Scrap VED and introduce a dual MOT & insurance disc

Vehicle Excise Duty, like many taxes, is disproportionately costly to administer and collect.

Many have already said as much on this site. I wish to tie three popular threads together here.

VED should be scrapped and (if necessary) the lost revenue compensated by additional fuel duty.

The disc in our car windscreen should remain, and should only be issued by an insurance company on an annual basis, once they receive an MOT receipt and are satisfied themselves that it is from a genuine company.

This could additionally have a barcode on the disc that any parking enforcement officer can scan with their handheld device to ascertain whether the disc and the car are married on the DVLA data base. This would also give them an audit trail when issuing tickets.

Why is this idea important?

Vehicle Excise Duty, like many taxes, is disproportionately costly to administer and collect.

Many have already said as much on this site. I wish to tie three popular threads together here.

VED should be scrapped and (if necessary) the lost revenue compensated by additional fuel duty.

The disc in our car windscreen should remain, and should only be issued by an insurance company on an annual basis, once they receive an MOT receipt and are satisfied themselves that it is from a genuine company.

This could additionally have a barcode on the disc that any parking enforcement officer can scan with their handheld device to ascertain whether the disc and the car are married on the DVLA data base. This would also give them an audit trail when issuing tickets.

Revenue raised from speed cameras and parking fines

Direct all revenue raised from speed cameras and parking fines to the National Trust.

(Insert your favoured organistion if you think stately homes / castles dont need our attention)

My idea stands whether you say 'Help for Heroes' or 'Sport England' etc.

We could indeed split the revenue between 20 organisations, such is the magnitude of the sums involved!

Why is this idea important?

Direct all revenue raised from speed cameras and parking fines to the National Trust.

(Insert your favoured organistion if you think stately homes / castles dont need our attention)

My idea stands whether you say 'Help for Heroes' or 'Sport England' etc.

We could indeed split the revenue between 20 organisations, such is the magnitude of the sums involved!