On 22 January 2013, the Secretary of State wrote to Ofqual the exams regulator, to outline the changes to the A-level structure from September 2015.
The changes mean that the new A-level will be linear, with all assessment at the end of two years of study. Although the AS-level will be retained, it will be redesigned as a stand-alone qualification as opposed to a means of progression to A2.
Under the new system there will be less non-exam assessment than now in most subjects. A levels will continue to be graded A*−E and AS qualifications graded A–E.
In line with government policy, the AS will be a stand-alone qualification. Students will not have to enter for an AS qualification in order to be awarded an A level. Students who do take an AS qualification and then progress to the A level will have to take all of the assessments for the A level, including the AS components.
The Secretary of State also confirmed plans for leading universities to be more closely involved in developing the content of the new A levels, starting with those subjects which are most commonly required for undergraduate study – Maths and Further Maths; English (literature); physics; biology; chemistry; geography; history and languages (modern and classical).
The first of the new A levels will be introduced for teaching in schools from September 2015, with first exams being sat in 2017. As the process of consultation is still ongoing, you can find the most up to information by visiting the Ofqual website.