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Delayed 2020 grading fiasco data finally to be released by Ofqual

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Researchers will finally be able to apply to access Ofqual data from the 2020 grading fiasco – 12 months on from results days.

The regulator has announced today that accredited researchers can apply from August 16 to access the GRADE (grading and admissions data for England) dataset through the Office for National Statistics.

However, it only says that the Ofqual data will “soon” be available to the researchers, so it’s not clear when they would receive it.

Ofqual told Schools Week in June it was “working towards” making the data available “before this summer’s results”.

But with results days happening next week, it appears this deadline has been missed.

The publication of key data on centre assessed grades and calculated grades from last summer – promised by Ofqual to “rebuild trust in exams” – has already been delayed due to data protection issues.

Academic previously said the setback meant time was “running out” for the data to be any use in preventing possible chaos this year.

The data is unique as is will hold not only Ofqual data between 2017 and 2020, but the Department for Education’s national pupil database and UCAS data from the university application system.

It will allow evidence-based lessons from the 2020 and “inform assessment policy on issues such as equality”, Ofqual said.

Ofqual is now beginning to transfer the data to the ONS.

Researchers will also be able to apply for funding, with more details “available soon”, Ofqual added.

The regulator initially said it expected researchers would be able to apply to access the data from “early 2021”.

In March it said the plan was to send data to the ONS in April or early May “at the latest” as it sorted data protection issues.

But Schools Week revealed in June it had been delayed.



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