• Exam board marking league tables delayed by monitoring concerns

    Ofqual, the exams regulator, is still trying to find a way to publish data on how the quality of marking varies between exam boards, more than three years after the idea was floated. Dame Glenys Stacey (pictured below), the former chief regulator at Ofqual, announced in June 2015 that the organisation would publish metrics for

    5.00 Dec. 3rd, 2018 | News

  • Exams 'useless' for computer science, say experts

    Computing experts have questioned the future of the subject in schools after Ofqual launched a consultation on plans to remove coursework from the computer science GCSE. The exams regulator admitted it no longer believed that it was possible to use non-exam assessment (NEA) to assess programming skills in a way that was “manageable, reliable and

    5.00 Nov. 13th, 2018 | News

  • Ofqual told to minimise fears around tests cheating

    A behavioural-insights team commissioned by Ofqual to help it handle messaging around cheating and malpractice urged the regulator not to overplay the problem. Two companies called EdCom and Now advised Ofqual to avoid making it look as if exams malpractice is “rife”, according to an executive director at the watchdog. The advice was focused on

    5.00 Nov. 6th, 2018 | News

  • 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

  • Ofqual investigates examiners' experience and background

    Ofqual is surveying examiners on their background amid fears from teachers that some lack the experience to mark scripts to a suitable standard. Examiners will be assessed on how long they have been marking papers, whether they have degrees in their subjects, and how confident they feel at the task. The report will be published

    5.00 Apr. 29th, 2018 | News

  • Teaching thinking skills makes children more intelligent

    All the evidence points to significant benefits of teaching children to think as well as cram for exams, argues John Perry The good news that we’re all aware of is that schools are improving. A quick look at the DfE’s performance tables makes it clear that more children achieve more highly than they did 20

    5.00 Apr. 28th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Ofqual's 2017 exam survey: the main findings

    Fewer people understand how GCSEs work since the new 9 to 1 grading system came in. The exams regulator Ofqual has published the results of its annual survey on perceptions of A-levels, GCSEs and other qualifications in England. The online study, conducted between October 24 and December 1 took opinions from almost 3,000 heads, teachers,

    5.00 Apr. 22nd, 2018 | News

  • People are struggling to understand the new 9 to 1 GCSE grading system

    Understanding of how GCSEs work dropped after the new 9 to 1 grading system came in. A survey of almost 3,000 heads, teachers, parents, universities and the public at large conducted between October 24 and December 1 last year found 62 per cent of respondents felt GCSEs are well understood by people, compared with 70 per

    10.07 Apr. 19th, 2018 | News

  • Grade predictions are unreliable - so why do we still use them?

    Too many school leaders rely on having their teachers make predictions about pupils’ grades – but no-one’s any good at it, explains Ben White We recently launched a ‘grade predictions challenge’, offering a bottle of sparkling wine to teachers who could accurately predict 80 per cent of the A-level results of a class. We provided

    5.00 Apr. 16th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Access arrangements for SEND pupils 'too strict and confusing', say exam officers

    Schools find exam access arrangements increasingly strict and confusing, according to the body that represents exams officers. Many schools want “much clearer” guidance on access, as well as special consideration for pupils with additional needs, according to research by the International Examination Officers’ Association. Some officers have even warned that extra help may be being

    7.00 Feb. 4th, 2018 | News

  • Staff exam malpractice up by 150%

    The number of school staff penalised for helping students cheat in exams has boomed this year, rising by around 150 per cent, but the number of penalties issued to schools and colleges has fallen. Ofqual figures published today show that 895 penalties were issued to school and college staff for malpractice during GCSEs and A-levels this year, up

    10.07 Jan. 5th, 2018 | News