• Poorer pupils ‘catch up’ by end of primary, but fall behind again at GCSE

    The attainment gap between the wealthiest and most disadvantaged pupils almost disappears by the end of primary school before reappearing at age 16, new data suggests. Analysis by data site SchoolDash shows that pupils from poorer areas draw level with their more socially advantaged peers by the end of key stage 2, but that the

    0.01 Mar. 15th, 2019 | News

  • Halfon’s ‘reckless’ plan to scrap GCSEs a 'non-starter', says baccalaureate fan

    Calls to replace GCSEs and A-levels with a “holistic baccalaureate” have been branded a “non-starter” by an advocate of a similar model. Tom Sherrington, a trustee of the National Baccalaureate Trust, warned that “headline-grabbing” comments made this week by Robert Halfon, the chair of the education select committee, and a number of other high-profile leaders

    7.00 Feb. 16th, 2019 | News

  • Why reinvent the education wheel, when a solution already exists?

    It’s great that we’re talking about alternatives to GCSEs and A-Levels, but we don’t need to start from scratch – there’s already a qualification out there, says Ryan Kelsall Robert Halfon this week advocated the scrapping of GCSEs and A-Levels in favour of a broader baccalaureate-style education, with a mix of academic and vocational subjects, and

    16.15 Feb. 14th, 2019 | Opinion

  • DfE rejects 7,000 requests by schools to wipe pupils' GCSE scores

    The government has refused nearly 7,000 requests from schools for their pupils’ GCSE scores to be wiped from league tables after applications rocketed following the introduction of Progress 8. Schools can apply for the results of seriously ill pupils or those in police custody or who are home-educated to be “disapplied” from performance data, on

    7.00 Dec. 14th, 2018 | News

  • 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

  • Did free schools really get the best progress scores?

    Free schools came top as the best-performing “type” of school in this year’s Progress 8 tables, but were their scores really good enough to assert that with confidence? Becky Allen explains… Today appeared to be a good day for free schools, with mainstream free schools achieving a Progress 8 score of +0.24 across the sector.

    14.03 Oct. 16th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Less than half of pupils understand GCSE reforms, survey finds

    Less than half of pupils understand why the government has reformed GCSE qualifications, despite over half a million pounds of public money being spent on explaining the changes. According to a new Ipsos Mori survey, only 48 per cent of school pupils who had heard of the changes to the GCSE grading system actually understood why

    10.23 Sep. 7th, 2018 | News

  • Spielman warns off-rolling 'could get worse' after sharp rise in pupils leaving school before GCSEs

    Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman has warned that the problem of schools removing pupils from the roll in order to manipulate exam results “absolutely could get worse” if it is not tackled effectively. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live today, Spielman told listeners that the education watchdog is looking into the “worrying” issue of off-rolling,

    16.26 Aug. 28th, 2018 | News

  • GCSE results 2018: Send us your (non-traditional) success stories!

    Teenagers across England will find out the results of their GCSEs tomorrow. Every year, Schools Week takes an alternative approach to reporting pupil success stories. Usually, we focus uniquely on those who attend secondary modern schools – non-selective schools that recruit from the same neighbourhood as grammar schools. We do this, not to ‘condone’ a selective school system, but

    14.44 Aug. 22nd, 2018 | Feature