• 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 consults on changes to reformed music and dance qualifications

    Ofqual has launched a consultation into proposed changes to the reformed GCSEs, AS and A-levels in music and dance, after their first delivery this summer exposed issues with how to assess pupils’ performances. The exams watchdog wants to change the way a student’s performance is marked if it turns out to be shorter than the minimum length;

    15.17 Nov. 9th, 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 lowers pass grade for higher tier science

    Ofqual has dropped the pass threshold for the GCSE science higher tier exams this year, following concerns that too many pupils would receive an ‘unclassified’ result. In a blog post released today, Cath Jadhav, associate director of standards and comparability at Ofqual, explained that during the awarding period this year exam boards had reported to the

    15.10 Aug. 20th, 2018 | News

  • The national reference test cost more than £2m, and six other things we learned from Ofqual's annual report

    The exams regulator Ofqual has published its annual report and accounts for 2017-18. Schools Week rounded up some of the most important findings from the report.   1. The National Reference Test cost £2m+ Ofqual introduced the National Reference Test last year to provide more information about the awarding of GCSEs. In its first year of

    19.53 Jul. 19th, 2018 | News

  • Ofqual: Don't enter grade four pupils for higher tier GCSE papers

    Pupils aiming for a grade four at GCSE – a ‘standard’ pass or the equivalent of a C grade – should only be entered to sit foundation tier exam papers, Ofqual has advised. Speaking at the exam watchdog’s summer symposium on July 5, Cath Jadhav, associate director of standards and comparability at Ofqual, said too

    16.00 Jul. 13th, 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

  • OCR will be fined £175,000 for its Romeo and Juliet mix-up

    Ofqual intends to fine exam board OCR £175,000 for a glaring error made in a GCSE paper in May last year. The OCR GCSE English literature paper confusingly referred to the Romeo and Juliet character Tybalt’s hatred of the Capulets, his own family, rather than the Montagues, their rivals. Ofqual formally issued OCR with a notice

    12.31 Jul. 2nd, 2018 | News

  • AS entries fall by 60 per cent

    AS-level entries continued to plummet this year, continuing a trend triggered by reforms which mean AS-levels no longer count towards pupils final grades. AS entries fell by 60 per cent compared to 2017, having fallen by 42 per cent between 2016 and 2017 –  the first year where new reformed subjects no longer counted. A-level entries also decreased

    10.49 May. 24th, 2018 | News

  • Art & Design GCSE entries stay strong in face of EBacc

    Fewer pupils have been entered for non-EBacc subjects this year, except in art and design which has bucked the decline and increased by two per cent. Official government figures released this morning also show entries to EBacc subjects have soared, especially in the sciences. A larger cohort of pupils means there are more overall GCSE entries

    10.33 May. 24th, 2018 | News