• 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

  • GCSE results 2019: Six interesting things we have learned

    GCSE results are out this morning – here’s your usual handy Schools Week round up of the key trends. One thing to note: From a Schools Week perspective, the most useful data for our readers is the England 16-year-olds data. Wales and Northern Ireland run their GCSEs differently to England, so UK-wide data isn’t useful.

    9.35 Aug. 22nd, 2019 | News

  • How to apply for re-marks and appeal GCSE results 2019

    GCSE results are on the horizon. If a grade doesn’t seem right, there are still some options available. Each exam board takes a different approach to re-marks*, appeals and the fees they charge, so Schools Week has collated the latest information on how the system will work this year. (*Exam boards have renamed re-marks as

    10.20 Aug. 21st, 2019 | Feature

  • 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