Ofqual consults on coursework and fieldwork changes for 2022 GCSEs and A-levels

Students could see changes to coursework and fieldwork for some GCSE and A-level subjects next year under proposals put forward by Ofqual today.

The exams regulator has launched a two-week consultation this morning on arrangements for non-exam assessment for 2022 qualifications.

It focuses on subjects in which preparation and work will be taking place this term for students taking exams next summer – such as dance, drama and geography.

Ofqual said it recognised there were “other activities” schools may have questions about, such as externally set art tasks and practical work in sciences, environmental science and astronomy, and the externally-set tasks in art and design.

But the regulator said it was “currently hopeful that, with further lifting of public health restrictions, it will be possible for students to complete work as usual during the next academic year.”

“Therefore, we do not propose to carry forward the 2021 arrangements for these subjects at this point in time to avoid possible negative effects on teaching and learning.”

Ofquals interim chief regulator Simon Lebus

Ofqual said it would keep the situation “under review” and provide more information in due course.

Changes similar to 2021, but with some differences

This year, there was flexibility for certain non-exam assessments, such as a relaxation of requirements for group work in dance, drama and theatre and music qualifications.

Most of the changes for 2022 are the same, but for GCSE modern foreign languages, Ofqual is proposing to drop the separate grading for the spoken language assessment.

This year, teachers will give the mark as a pass, merit or distinction and it will be reported alongside the 9 to 1 grade for the overall qualification.

Ofqual said it anticipates it will be possible to conduct speaking assessments in the “normal way” in 2022. However, a decision will be made by January 31 next year depending on the pandemic.

There are also slight changes to flexibilities offered in AS and A-level geology this year.

Ofqual and the Department for Education are yet to say what adjustments will be made to exams next year.

Interim chief regulator Simon Lebus revealed in March that the government was considering making “adaptations” to exams in 2022 similar to those proposed for this summer’s assessments before they were cancelled.

For example, had exams gone ahead this year, it was proposed that there would be reduced content assessed in GCSE ancient history, history and English literature.

Today’s consultation states that content coverage is the DfE’s responsibility, and arrangements in these subjects “will be considered as part of the wider policy decisions for the 2022 exams”.

The non-exam assessment consultation closes on May 28.

Latest education roles from

Electrical Installation Trainer

Electrical Installation Trainer

Barnsley College

Sessional Science Lab Technician

Sessional Science Lab Technician

Merton College

Sessional Lecturer – Plumbing

Sessional Lecturer – Plumbing

South Thames College

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

Haberdashers’ Academies Trust South

Chief Executive Officer Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT)

Chief Executive Officer Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT)

Satis Education

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Ark Greenwich Free School

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Sharon Leggett

    They must remember that no matter what year 10 have missed a large amount of work and time at school. This has affected their confidence and their mental state and this needs to be taken into consideration.

  2. Deedee

    Think they need to remember the kids sitting gcses in 2022 haven’t done a proper school year since year 8 how is it even possible to make them do it

  3. Shipu Miah

    Exams is the only fair way forward.
    Teacher assessed is biased and unfair. In mock tests, some teachers give more clues than others to the questions in the test papers.
    Also without exams, there is mo chance for students to make improvements to their grades, many students put in extra effort before final exams.

  4. Helen

    From 17th March 2020 until 17th March 2021 our son was at his school for the total of 3 months (he is now in Year 10). During the first lockdown his school sent out homework after homework with no online lessons or support . He was meant to self teach. In the second lockdown he has 3-40 minutes Zoom lessons maximum . Most days he would have 1 or 2. Sometimes no Zoom lessons at all. It has been awful. I feel he is emerging from a dark hole. His motivation and engagement severely dropped as his returned homework was ignored . I am a teacher of 24 years myself so I understand the pressures teachers faced this last year but he was so badly let down . However, the Department of Education must acknowledge that the current Y10 have had the worst deal and this MUST be acknowledged and the impact of these two lockdowns must be reflected in the content and marking system for GCSEs 2022.

  5. Becky

    The current yr 10 students have missed a huge part of their formal GCSE curriculum, let’s face it yr 9 often covers much of what is tested at GCSE too…
    They simply cannot make that learning up…the mental and emotional stress of not knowing what they will face is having a huge effect on my son and I am sure thousands of others. The lack of clarity is cruel beyond belief. Exams need to address and adapted for years to come in all honesty.

  6. Tiffany

    Not only have pupils had to encounter absence through lockdown but many have had additional absences due to in-school ‘bubbles’ closing. this has varied school to school. Teaching has been variable, as some subjects do not easily adapt to on-line delivery and also because some teachers have not adapted as well to this mode of delivery. There has been no real monitoring of all of this ! All of this means there will be great inequality from one school to another.
    Pupils ae currently doing mock exams and these are a farce, as pupils have huge gaps in their learning. The mocks are therefore not going to give pupils a true preparatory experience of public exams. The stress of trying to ‘catch up’ in time to be exam ready will lead to emotional stress for pupils who have already been through a lot in the last 12 months. We are already hearing of how many pupils are emotionally fragile. Exams are totally unfair for this cohort!

  7. Rachel

    I really think the government have to consider pupils taking there gcses in 2022.These children have been in the thick of the covid crisis. With most of there learning being on-line it is obvious that they do not have the time to catch up and be at there true potential. They have been through enough emotional stress and the important year 10 learning has been destroyed. Year 11 is usually revising what has been taught so if anyone should have help it should be the 2022 gcse year.

  8. Rachel Cook

    The only fair and reasonable approach has to be a reduced curriculum and coverage ahead of 2022 exams. To expect this cohort to be able to return to a full exam of 2-years worth of maths units, science topics and the same number of texts in English is ridiculous. They’ve lost at least a quarter of quality learning so this should be reflected in the exams too. And this decision needs to made swiftly and filtered through to schools so teaching and learning can be more focused from here in.

  9. Chris

    I have children in both year 9 and year 10, they have both been hugely effected by the pandemic , we have had national lockdowns , bubbles closing due to cases, further lockdowns due to vulnerable people in the household …. virtual learning can only offer so much and is no real substitute , my fear is that my children will not have the time to catch up to current exam levels and therefore will have there entire lives guided by this pandemic , please consider both year 10 and 9 as these are the most crucial years