• Broken promises: DfE snubs exams transparency request

    Gavin Williamson has snubbed demands from the education select committee to provide details of key meetings his department held with Ofqual in the run-up to the exams debacle, despite promising transparency. The education secretary had been ordered by committee chair Robert Halfon to provide the information by Monday, after missing an earlier deadline. It is

    9.30 Nov. 27th, 2020 | News

  • Exams 2021: What’s on the table as deadline looms

    Despite waiting for months, Schools Week understands the government will fall short of its pledge to communicate the plans for next year’s exams to the sector in November. But an announcement is getting closer. We spoke to insiders to see what was on the table. The exams announcement will contain policies that address a few

    5.00 Nov. 27th, 2020 | News

  • Exams 2020: 'No evidence' poorer pupils disadvantaged, concludes Ofqual

    There is “no evidence” that the system for awarding GCSEs and A-levels this year systematically disadvantaged poorer pupils or those with protected characteristics, an analysis by Ofqual has found. But 6,300 GCSE entries, most of them from private schools, may have received “disproportionately overestimated grades”, the exams regulator said. Ofqual has published a technical report

    15.30 Nov. 26th, 2020 | News

  • Private schools got biggest top A-levels boost after grade U-turn

    Private schools still saw the biggest boost in top grades at A-level following this year’s exams fiasco, despite the decision to issue centre-assessment grades. The Department for Education has published analysis of A-level grades issued this summer, following the decision to let school-provided grades stand if they were higher than calculated grades issued by exam

    10.51 Nov. 26th, 2020 | News

  • Comparable outcomes won't help all pupils in 2021, admits Ofqual

    Applying comparable outcomes to exam results in 2021 will not be enough to compensate for learning loss for all pupils, Ofqual has said, admitting it would only be a “partial compensation strategy”. The exams regulator has published research today on maintaining standards and the so-called “sawtooth effect” – which describes when outcomes dip following changes

    11.32 Nov. 23rd, 2020 | News

  • 'We'll help kids rise to the challenge' - heads contradict Ofsted chief on exams

    Cancelling exams in 2021 will not result in pupils becoming disengaged, headteachers have told MPs, as they vowed to work with “whatever system” they are presented with. Six school leaders appeared in front of the Parliamentary education committee this morning to give evidence on left-behind white disadvantaged pupils. Whatever system you give us, we will

    13.18 Nov. 17th, 2020 | News

  • Technical woes hinder Oxbridge entry tests

    Pupils’ hopes of studying at Oxford and Cambridge may be in jeopardy as admission exams, switched to an online format in the wake of Covid, have been beset with technical difficulties. Last week, year 13 pupils across England sat a variety of admission exams for the two universities, such as the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT)

    17.00 Nov. 13th, 2020 | News

  • Pupils in hard-hit regions face exams ‘Covid penalty’

    Pupils face a “covid penalty” unless Ofqual takes geographical differences into account when awarding grades next year, a leading academy trust boss with schools in hard-hit coronavirus regions has said. The intervention by Hamid Patel, the chief executive of Star Academies, comes as pressure on the government to ditch exams ramped up this week after

    7.00 Nov. 13th, 2020 | News

  • Universities back post-qualification admissions but shoot down move to January start

    A major review into university admissions is calling for places to be offered after students have been awarded grades – but it shot down proposals to shift start dates back to January. Universities UK (UUK), the university umbrella body, suggests switching to a post-qualifications admission model from 2023, subject to full consultation, as part of

    0.01 Nov. 13th, 2020 | News

  • Restricting exams to core subjects 'under consideration', suggests Spielman

    Ofqual is considering whether to only have exams in core subjects next year, with centre-assessment grades used for the remainder, Amanda Spielman has suggested. The Ofsted chief inspector, who is chairing Ofqual’s new “recovery committee” formed to oversee the fallout from this year’s exams fiasco, said holding exams only in core subjects was “the kind

    12.59 Nov. 10th, 2020 | News

  • Revealed: What Ofqual's explosive board minutes tell us about the exams fiasco

    The ill-fated exams “triple lock” policy that sparked a chain of events culminating in pupils instead being awarded their centre-assessed grades was announced before Ofqual had been able to even sign it off. The exams regulator has today published its long-awaited board minutes that give a behind-the-scenes account of this year’s exams fiasco. They also

    12.20 Oct. 22nd, 2020 | News