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  Clever kids could 'skip' GCSEs
Updated 12 February 2002, 07.27
Classroom scene
Bright kids could soon be allowed to 'skip' GCSEs at school.

But before you get too excited, they'll have to study harder AS levels instead.

Students in a music lesson
It's thought this will help cleverer students get on quicker, without being held back by their classmates, a Government report says.

Stay on at school

There are also plans for a new A 'distinction' grade at A-level so some people can get a higher result than before.

But it's not only about helping the bright ones. Other students who aren't so good at written exams might be allowed to concentrate on more practical subjects, like tourism or hairdressing.

It's hoped that all of these ideas will encourage more children to stay on at school after 16.

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