Blog

The blog is where we will talk about some of the issues affecting our work and the thoughts that guide what we do. We’d like to hear your thoughts on the topics and issues that we write about – all you have to do is leave a comment.

Practical Science

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Practical work and experimentation is at the heart of science. It matters to science students, their teachers and their future universities and employers. But A level students do not always have the chance to do enough of it. Practical work counts for up to 30 per cent of the final grades and the vast majority… Read more »

Setting standards

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Students will be sitting exams for some new GCSEs in summer 2017. We want to be clear with them, ahead of 2017, about the new grading system and the levels of performance expected.

Making a mark…

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We published our final report into exam marking last week. It’s a good piece of work, worth a read to get a full sense of what is going on. Perhaps inevitably however, the media focused fairly narrowly on what we had to say about appeals rather than on the broader marking system as a whole. … Read more »

Happy New Year – and an outlook for 2014

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Hello all and Happy New Year. I wish you all the best for 2014. Like many of you, we are facing another busy and challenging year. Qualifications reform will continue to be a major priority, of course. We will begin consultation and discussion soon on how we are to set performance standards for new GCSEs,… Read more »

Our A level consultation

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Last week we launched our latest consultation on A level reform.  It covers a number of important issues, including our proposals for the role of non-exam assessment in the subjects going forward for teaching in 2015, and the design of the new AS qualifications. It is always interesting to see the initial reactions when we… Read more »

Our announcement on speaking and listening assessments

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As we expected, our decision to stop speaking and listening assessments from counting towards final marks in GCSE English and English language has disappointed many teachers. We understand this. It was not a decision we made lightly. We considered carefully the responses to our consultation.  They showed that speaking and listening are widely-valued skills.  They… Read more »

GCSE Results – a view from the Chief Regulator

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Looking back on last week, the story around GCSE results feels different this year. I hope people think that Ofqual and the exam boards did a good job setting out what it all meant, and what was behind the headline figures. If you haven’t seen it, I do recommend a look at the briefing note… Read more »

Some thoughts on the A level results

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I have been able to take some time to reflect on the A level results published last week, and the way they have been received. We can see a very stable set of results here. The headlines were a 0.3 percentage point drop in the proportion of A and A* grades, and the overall A… Read more »

Setting the bar

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The Times Educational Supplement recently included an in-depth look at GCSE results and the subject of how we use what has become known as comparable outcomes, asking whether rising results are now a thing of the past. I am pleased to see the debate. The issues are so important – and contentious. We all have… Read more »