• Dropping GCSEs only for 'exceptional circumstances', leaked DfE guidance states

    School leaders will be told to only allow GCSE students to drop a subject in “exceptional circumstances” next year, according to draft guidance on the reopening of schools. Leaked details of the proposals were first revealed yesterday by HuffPost UK, which reported that the guidance set out how “some pupils may have to drop some

    18.02 Jun. 30th, 2020 | News

  • Some assessment could be moved to earlier in 2021, suggests heads' union

    Some assessment in 2021 should be moved to earlier in the year rather than delay exams, a leadership union has said. Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said he had asked the government to consider whether pupils could get some elements of assessment “under the belt” before the

    5.00 Jun. 27th, 2020 | News

  • Government to consult on delaying 2021 exam season

    The government is considering delaying the 2021 exam series until later in the summer, Gavin Williamson has revealed. The education secretary told MPs this afternoon that the government would be “consulting with Ofqual about how we can move those exams back” to maximise teaching time. It comes amid growing pressure on ministers to reveal their

    14.55 Jun. 22nd, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: Six things we learned from Ofqual about exams in 2020 and 2021

    Exams were the focus of an education select committee hearing this week, with senior staff appearing from the exams’ regulator Ofqual. Here’s what we found out.   1. Consultation on 2021 exam plans due before summer break Sally Collier, the chief regulator of Ofqual, told MPs schools needed to know what was happening with next

    12.36 Jun. 12th, 2020 | News

  • Schools need to know 2021 exam plans before summer, says Ofqual chief

    Schools need to know what’s happening with next year’s exams “before the summer break ideally”, the head of the qualifications regulator has acknowledged. Sally Collier, the chief regulator of Ofqual, told the Parliamentary education committee this morning that a consultation process on plans for next year will start “in the coming weeks”. “Schools and teachers,

    11.12 Jun. 10th, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: 2020 exam standardisation process will ignore school 'trajectory', Ofqual confirms

    The “trajectory” of improving schools will not be taken into account when standardising GCSE and A-level results this year, Ofqual has confirmed. The exams regulator said today that the standardisation process for centre-assessed grades this year “will not seek to reflect any trends in improvement or deterioration in a centre’s outcomes in a subject over

    19.24 May. 22nd, 2020 | News

  • Speed read: Five things schools need to know about plans for an autumn exam series

    The exams regulator Ofqual has launched a consultation on how a new autumn exam series should work.  Summer exams are cancelled this year as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and associated partial school closures. Pupils will instead receive grades from their schools. However, ministers have said they want pupils who aren’t happy with their

    16.44 May. 22nd, 2020 | News

  • Another exam board offers payments instead of furlough

    Another exam board has offered pay-offs instead of furlough for some examiners, while committing to returning savings from unspent exam fees back to schools. In an email to examiners, Pearson said it was not using the government’s furlough scheme because it “believes it has been put in place to protect primarily small and medium-sized business”.

    5.00 May. 17th, 2020 | News

  • Chief regulator offers 'reassurance' over this summer's GCSE and A-level grades

    Ofqual’s chief regulator Sally Collier has “reassured” GCSE and A-level students that the grades they get this summer will look “exactly the same as in previous years”. She has also made clear that they will have “equal status” with universities, colleges and employers. Here is her letter in full:   I understand how unsettling the

    11.00 Apr. 3rd, 2020 | News

  • Exams have been cancelled - so what happens now?

    Robert Half, the American businessman, once said “it’s easy to make good decisions when there are no bad options”. Gavin Williamson is now grappling with the opposite. Because it’s not only easy, but inevitable, that bad decisions are made when there are no good options. In a fast moving crisis, you can’t afford to wait

    22.21 Mar. 18th, 2020 | Opinion

  • Ofqual consults on new 'clearer' malpractice and maladministration guidance

    The exams regulator Ofqual wants to replace its current guidance on how exam boards should tackle malpractice and maladministration, amid fears it is currently too simplistic. Current guidance is made up of a list of “dos and don’ts” to help exam boards meet “condition A8” – one of eight “general conditions of recognition” they must

    15.35 Feb. 20th, 2020 | News