I think the whole A-level system does not have Education as its aim anymore. Exams seem to be the aim of the A-levels (as you notice if you go into WHsmiths there are far more "revise A in a week" "exam practice guides" than real through Text books which you can learn from. What this does is to actually dissuade you from having any interest in your subject. You are constrained to the narrow syllabi and almost feel guilty for studying anything else, as you could be missing out on a detail from a past mark scheme which you can paste onto the exam paper as you can be sure to get 100% (I know people that do this i.e. actually study mark schemes!).
THe fact that more and more people are getting A makes the situation worse, unis are now insisting on seeing UMS marks, which i think is ridiculous when they need to start picking between people on High or low A then it shows more is needed to distinguish. Yes AEA is an answer but then it is slightly unfair to expect someone going to a very bad comp to do an AEA on there own when they are already teaching themsevles the subject while a top private school kid gets taught in it.
I think that education needs to be reformed so learning is the aim rather than exam skill. I haven’t had much experience of the baccalaureate system but I think it allows broader study which may be nice.