• Comparable outcomes won't help all pupils in 2021, admits Ofqual

    Applying comparable outcomes to exam results in 2021 will not be enough to compensate for learning loss for all pupils, Ofqual has said, admitting it would only be a “partial compensation strategy”. The exams regulator has published research today on maintaining standards and the so-called “sawtooth effect” – which describes when outcomes dip following changes

    11.32 Nov. 23rd, 2020 | News

  • 'We'll help kids rise to the challenge' - heads contradict Ofsted chief on exams

    Cancelling exams in 2021 will not result in pupils becoming disengaged, headteachers have told MPs, as they vowed to work with “whatever system” they are presented with. Six school leaders appeared in front of the Parliamentary education committee this morning to give evidence on left-behind white disadvantaged pupils. Whatever system you give us, we will

    13.18 Nov. 17th, 2020 | News

  • Pupils in hard-hit regions face exams ‘Covid penalty’

    Pupils face a “covid penalty” unless Ofqual takes geographical differences into account when awarding grades next year, a leading academy trust boss with schools in hard-hit coronavirus regions has said. The intervention by Hamid Patel, the chief executive of Star Academies, comes as pressure on the government to ditch exams ramped up this week after

    7.00 Nov. 13th, 2020 | News

  • DfE warning over early GCSE entries as research shows some pupils do worse

    Early entry to GCSEs “does not always benefit pupils”, the Department for Education has warned, as new research showed pupils in some subjects do worse if they take them in year 10. A new “ad hoc” research paper published by the DfE today shows that pupils who take English literature and religious studies a year

    11.18 Nov. 12th, 2020 | News

  • Restricting exams to core subjects 'under consideration', suggests Spielman

    Ofqual is considering whether to only have exams in core subjects next year, with centre-assessment grades used for the remainder, Amanda Spielman has suggested. The Ofsted chief inspector, who is chairing Ofqual’s new “recovery committee” formed to oversee the fallout from this year’s exams fiasco, said holding exams only in core subjects was “the kind

    12.59 Nov. 10th, 2020 | News

  • National reference test future ‘not in doubt’, says Ofqual

    The exams regulator has restated its commitment to running a national reference test, despite delaying a decision over the test’s future following “unexpected results”. Piloted in 2016, the tests in maths and English involve a sample of year 11 pupils each year to monitor, over time, how well cohorts are performing. The results act as

    5.00 Nov. 8th, 2020 | News

  • GCSEs 2021: Teachers CAN use one-off tests for MFL speaking

    Teachers will not be prevented from using “one-off assessment opportunities” to test pupils spoken language in GCSE modern foreign language subjects next year, Ofqual has said. The exams regulator has published its decisions following a consultations on changes to the way MFL GCSEs are to be assessed next year. It is part of a suite

    10.21 Nov. 5th, 2020 | News

  • Over 18,000 entries for autumn GCSEs, but that's not including English and maths

    There have been 18,450 entries for GCSE exams being held this autumn for those who weren’t happy with their grades issued this summer. But that number is likely to rise when entries in English and maths – which are routinely offered in the autumn and have a later entry deadline – are added to the

    9.57 Oct. 29th, 2020 | News

  • Revealed: What Ofqual's explosive board minutes tell us about the exams fiasco

    The ill-fated exams “triple lock” policy that sparked a chain of events culminating in pupils instead being awarded their centre-assessed grades was announced before Ofqual had been able to even sign it off. The exams regulator has today published its long-awaited board minutes that give a behind-the-scenes account of this year’s exams fiasco. They also

    12.20 Oct. 22nd, 2020 | News

  • Exams 2021: Most GCSEs and A-levels pushed back three weeks

    Pupils will still sit one GCSE English and one GCSE maths exam before the summer half term next year, despite a move to push most other exams back by three weeks. The Department for Education has confirmed today that most GCSE and A-level exams will take place three weeks later than usual in 2021, to

    12.42 Oct. 12th, 2020 | News

  • ‘Dithering’ ministers urged to reveal 2021 exam plans

    Ministers have been told to stop “dithering” and give schools clarity on what will happen with exams next year, following the Scottish government’s decision to cancel some tests and push others back. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, has promised exams will take place and that full plans – including whether or not they will be

    11.00 Oct. 9th, 2020 | News