• 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

  • 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

  • More than 1,000 learners that failed courses last year will now be told they passed

    More than 1,000 learners that failed their courses last year are now being told they’ve passed. Under the previous widely accepted interpretation of rules for reformed level three applied general and tech level qualifications, introduced for teaching from 2016, learners had to pass all their externally-assessed exams to achieve their qualifications. But that changed after Ofqual

    15.11 Apr. 28th, 2018 | News

  • Ofqual's 2017 exam survey: the main findings

    Fewer people understand how GCSEs work since the new 9 to 1 grading system came in. The exams regulator Ofqual has published the results of its annual survey on perceptions of A-levels, GCSEs and other qualifications in England. The online study, conducted between October 24 and December 1 took opinions from almost 3,000 heads, teachers,

    5.00 Apr. 22nd, 2018 | News

  • Computer science GCSE will be exam-only until 2020

    Computer science GCSEs will continue to be assessed purely on exams until 2020 after tasks from the test were leaked online, Ofqual has announced. Following its announcement in January that the supervised coursework element of the GCSE won’t count towards pupils’ final grades in 2018 and 2019, the exams regulator has said today that the

    10.14 Apr. 20th, 2018 | News

  • People are struggling to understand the new 9 to 1 GCSE grading system

    Understanding of how GCSEs work dropped after the new 9 to 1 grading system came in. A survey of almost 3,000 heads, teachers, parents, universities and the public at large conducted between October 24 and December 1 last year found 62 per cent of respondents felt GCSEs are well understood by people, compared with 70 per

    10.07 Apr. 19th, 2018 | News