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Ofqual sets out plans to drive qualification improvement

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Exams regulator Ofqual has today (Friday, August 9) published its Corporate Plan setting out the organisation’s aims and commitments until 2016.

The Plan reflects Government decisions to reform GCSEs, AS levels and A levels in England and details how Ofqual will implement the proposed reforms. It also sets out a commitment to drive improvement in key vocational qualifications, and its approach to setting and maintaining standards.

Chief Regulator Glenys Stacey said: “This is a very interesting time for qualifications, with real opportunities to deliver materially better qualifications, both general and vocational, that will better prepare people for the next stages in their education or careers.

“We are committed to keeping a tight grip on standards, so people can have confidence that qualifications represent a proper record of knowledge, skills and achievement, and to making sure qualifications deliver what their users – students, employers, teachers, universities – need from them.

“The reform programmes for GCSEs and A levels are challenging. But it is a privilege to be able to oversee changes that will deliver new qualifications that are fit for the future. There is also much we want to do for vocational qualifications, and for existing qualifications before wider reforms are implemented.

“So this report sets out an ambitious programme of work, but it is a programme of work that will make a real difference, and we are up for the challenge.”

Among other things, the Ofqual Corporate Plan 2013-16 sets out Ofqual’s intention to:

  1. Implement reforms to GCSE, AS and A levels and improvements to the quality of key vocational qualifications
  2. Drive improvements to the standards of examinations and other assessments in key qualifications by using new regulatory tools and approaches
  3. Consult in the autumn on standard setting for new GCSEs and the development of a national, sample reference test to aid standard setting for GCSEs in future
  4. Overhaul the appeals process for GCSE, AS and A level
  5. Provide new information to schools to enable them to compare exam boards, and to help people to select the right vocational qualification for them
  6. A new focus on national assessments, in the light of the current Government consultation on changes to primary accountability and assessment’.
  7. Put in place a new focus on the cost of qualifications.

The Corporate Plan can be found here:

Ofqual Corporate Plan 2013