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.

Reflections on the GCSE results

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Understandably, the GCSE English results have attracted the largest share of the headlines overnight and this morning. The 1.9% drop in grades A* – C in this important subject looks significant. And we are seeing that a minority of schools have seen their results fall beyond expectations, while others have seen improvements. So let’s consider… Read more »

Waiting for results

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A level results come out next week, with GCSEs the week after, and many thousands of young people and their families are waiting in nervous anticipation. In recent years, we at Ofqual have made a conscious decision to use this time ahead of results to talk openly about how the system works and to point… Read more »

Creative subjects do have a place in education

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It’s been a week since we released our consultation on the reform of remaining subjects at GCSE and A level. Commentary on social media and in the news suggests that many still believe we want to ‘scrap’ qualifications in the arts; and design and technology. But this couldn’t be more wrong. There’s a host of creative… Read more »

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 »