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Changes to exam board seminar events

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Ofqual is to tighten up the controls for teacher seminars run by exam boards, but has decided not to introduce an outright ban on the events.

Chief Regulator Glenys Stacey said: “Teachers should be given enough information about new qualifications to be able to plan their teaching and to teach students well, but they should not be given confidential information about future exams. We are making sure that teachers can get the right information about qualifications, and that what happens in seminars is all above board.”

The exams regulator has reconsidered an initial decision to ban these sorts of seminars.

“We had previously decided to stop events taking place for specific qualifications after they start being taught in schools. Since our original decision, the full scale and pace of the programme to reform GCSEs and A Levels has become clear. And exam boards have put in place new approaches for managing confidentiality at these events. After looking at this evidence and listening to the feedback from our recent consultation, we have decided that appropriately run seminars can still play a key role in supporting teachers to prepare their students for the new qualifications.”

The tighter rules being introduced include:

  • Exam boards must make any such training events reasonably available to all teachers and publish all training materials used in ways that teachers can access.
  • Nobody who has had access to confidential assessment materials can be present at events.
  • Exam boards should monitor what is said at events, for example by recording them.

Ofqual had decided last year that face-to-face events about specific qualifications should stop, apart from in very limited circumstances. They could take place only for qualifications where teaching had yet to start or where teachers needed to be trained in internal assessment.

Download the letter on seminars

Download the responses to our consultation summary