• Ofqual mulls grading change for language and science A-levels

    Ofqual is considering a change to the grading of A levels in modern languages and the sciences, if it finds the subjects are more severely marked than others. Speaking at Ofqual’s summer symposium in London today, Richard Garrett, director of policy and strategic relationships, explained that the regulator is exploring ‘inter-subject comparability’, or whether it

    17.46 Jul. 5th, 2018 | News

  • A third of state schools allow pupils to opt out of languages in year 9

    Over a third of state schools now allow pupils to opt out of studying a language in year 9, a new report has revealed. In fact, 34.5 per cent of state schools are not teaching modern foreign languages (MFL) to entire groups of students at that level, up from 29 per cent in 2017 and

    0.01 Jun. 27th, 2018 | News

  • AS entries fall by 60 per cent

    AS-level entries continued to plummet this year, continuing a trend triggered by reforms which mean AS-levels no longer count towards pupils final grades. AS entries fell by 60 per cent compared to 2017, having fallen by 42 per cent between 2016 and 2017 –  the first year where new reformed subjects no longer counted. A-level entries also decreased

    10.49 May. 24th, 2018 | News

  • More than 1,000 learners that failed courses last year will now be told they passed

    More than 1,000 learners that failed their courses last year are now being told they’ve passed. Under the previous widely accepted interpretation of rules for reformed level three applied general and tech level qualifications, introduced for teaching from 2016, learners had to pass all their externally-assessed exams to achieve their qualifications. But that changed after Ofqual

    15.11 Apr. 28th, 2018 | News

  • GCSE grade changes increase by 52% - mostly due to GCSE English

    The number of GCSE grades changed at a marking review this year has increased by 52 per cent, with over 25,000 more changes than in 2016. This year, 73,840 GCSE grades were changed compared with 48,430 last year. Only three per cent more GCSE exams were sat this year. Ofqual said the rise “stemmed principally

    11.32 Dec. 14th, 2017 | News

  • How can we better prepare students for university?

    The narrow A-level curriculum is leaving more and more new undergraduates unable to cope with the rigours of university, says Mary Curnock Cook Earlier this autumn, over 330,000 young people made the leap from school or college to higher education. Many of them will have been ill-prepared for this transition, which involves a fundamental change

    5.00 Nov. 27th, 2017 | Opinion

  • £600 maths premium ≠ more maths A-levels

    The government’s policy to pay schools to get more pupils studying maths is misguided, argues Luke Sibieta – why not raise sixth-form funding instead? In Wednesday’s Budget, the Chancellor announced various measures aimed at expanding the teaching of maths in schools and colleges. One of the most eye-catching announcements was a commitment to pay “a

    12.00 Nov. 24th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Ofqual accused of 'refusing to engage' with colour-blindness

    Exam boards are producing scripts for GCSEs and A-levels that rely on coloured diagrams to convey information to candidates, even though this will make the content inaccessible for colour-blind pupils. Colour vision deficiency (CVD) on average affects more than one child in every UK classroom – one in 12 boys and one in 200 girls

    5.00 Oct. 13th, 2017 | News

  • Folks, we need to talk about exam re-marks

    We need to talk about exam re-marks – and quickly, says editor Laura McInerney It’s the first week of term and teachers of exam classes will be poring over papers to decide if any should be sent for re-marking. At A-level the decision is usually made early: if a student misses their university grades, papers

    18.33 Sep. 6th, 2017 | Opinion

  • St Olave's u-turn on pupil exclusions

    A grammar school ejecting pupils in the middle of their A-levels has backtracked on its severe exclusions policy, saying all pupils affected can return to the school to finish their studies. St Olave’s grammar school in Orpington was revealed by The Guardian last month to be forcing out pupils who were not achieving the highest

    11.35 Sep. 2nd, 2017 | News

  • GCSEs, A-levels and other school qualifications should be scrapped

    We should get rid of GCSEs and A-levels and make universities design their own entrance systems, argues Ed Cadwallader As the curtain rises on Michael Gove’s attempt to rebrand ‘999’ as a cause for celebration, lots of people will be asking whether the switch from letter to number grades at GCSE was worth the millions

    16.30 Aug. 27th, 2017 | Opinion