Exam reforms could mean worse-than-expected GCSE and A-level grades
Thursday 26 June 2014
Schools have been warned that their GCSE and A-levels could be worse than expected this summer because of reforms to the exam system.
Ofqual, the exams regulator has published an open letter to all schools and colleges telling them that the overhaul of this summer’s exams was “likely” to produce markedly different results in some schools. National results are also likely to be affected by the reforms.
GCSE reforms have meant students have been forced to sit exams at the end of the course rather than taking modular tests throughout two years of study. Meanwhile changes that mean only the first attempt at a GCSE will count towards school league tables.
The letter, from Glenys Stacey, head of Ofqual, said: “Collectively these changes in the student mix are likely to result in a little more variability than usual, school by school. When qualifications change we would expect individual school results to be more variable, because the changes will have different impacts in different schools and in different subjects.
“It is not possible to predict at this stage how the national picture will look: these changes do not pull results universally in one direction or another, but together they are likely to affect the national picture to some extent.”
Some schools will be more affected by the reforms than others, with some likely to achieve better results under the new system and others scoring worse.
The changes have already had a dramatic effect on exam entry patterns. Many more students sat GCSE maths exams this summer than last summer. Previously many of these students would have sat maths module exams in January or March. Meanwhile at AS and A-level, the removal of the January exam session has meant that entries are much higher this summer.
GCSE English exams will also put greater emphasis on exams and give less reward for coursework, which is likely to affect some students’ results, Ofqual said.
The regulator said the exam boards would be expected to report to Ofqual if this summer’s results are significantly different from the boards’ predictions. Ms Stacey said Ofqual would challenge the results if the boards could not explain the disparity.
Ms Stacey said: “Our priority this summer, as in previous years, is to hold standards steady so that in general, students in 2014 are not advantaged or disadvantaged because of the changes to the qualifications.”
The exam reforms will mainly affect schools and colleges in England but some of the changes also apply in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz 'sought treatment for eyesight problems' amid claims conditions was psychosomatic
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Yemen crisis: Saudi Arabia ready for long campaign against Houthi rebels across the border
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
£25,880 – £28,610 per annum: Imperial College London: Imperial College London ...
£26,976 - £31,614 per annum: University College London: UCL Information Servic...
£30 - 32k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking an Instructional / e-Learning De...
£30500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Schools Education & Careers Executive ...