• 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

  • Schools save over £1 million in late exam entry fees

    Schools saved more than £1 million in exam entry fees last year by entering more pupils on time, even as the cost of exam entries crept upwards. The proportion of late entries fell from three per cent last year to 2.8 per cent this year across GCSE and AS/A-level entries, Ofqual’s latest figures show. For

    5.00 Dec. 4th, 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

  • How to apply for re-marks and appeal A-level results

    Pupils across England will get their A-level results on Thursday, and while most of them celebrate, their exams officers, teachers and school leaders will be deciding what to do about those who haven’t got the results they had been expecting. Each exam board takes a slightly different approach to the re-marking and appeals process, so

    16.23 Aug. 15th, 2017 | Feature