Time Team's Sir Tony digs in to save archaeology A-level

The Telegraph Hay Festival 2012

Sir Tony Robinson has backed a campaign to try to save A-level archaeology.

Sir Tony, who fronts Channel 4's Time Team programme, urged his online followers to sign a petition "against the axing of A-level archaeology" by the AQA exam board and to join him in a campaign to "try and save A-level classics, history of art and archaeology".

More than 6,700 people had signed the change.org petition by Tuesday October 18 at 5.30am.

Sir Tony told The Guardian: "It feels like the Visigoths at the gates of Rome.

"All these incredibly valuable and important subjects are being cast into the fire."

Suggesting the cut may be a money-led decision, Sir Tony added: "They are minority A-levels and AQA gets paid per student. Full stop. I can see no other justification whatsoever."

Teacher Dan Boatright of Pinvin, Worcestershire, who started the petition, wrote: "It is not a soft subject, it requires a knowledge of science, history, English literature, and allows you to develop skills that are required in so many walks of life. It is also a subject taught in many different institutions from state schools to private and from sixth form colleges to further education.

"It brings so many equality and diversity discussions together and enables students to discuss complex ideas about what it means to be human."

AQA, which has denied the decision is financial, told The Times: "Our number one priority is making sure every student gets the result they deserve - and unfortunately the number of very specialist options we have to offer in this subject's exams creates too many risks on that front.

"That's why we've taken the difficult decision not to continue our work creating a new AS and A-level."

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