The BBC has the full details here. British students sit "A-levels" prior to applying to university and admittance often depends upon A-level results. Some believe that not all subjects are equally challenging making it difficult to compare students with the same results, but different subjects. Something like a preferential list is perhaps long overdue and I am pleased to see the advice that students should be encouraged to sit maths and English A-levels. Whether it will have an effect is anybody's guess.
What is perhaps most curious about this process is the following. So students gain admittance to universities based upon their performance on subjects -- such as philosophy or politics -- studied at A-level. My biggest surprise is that I have never once been consulted about the content for the A-level in either of these subjects and I would be interested to know how this is decided.