Briefings, news and updates from Ofqual

Ofqual – update

Ofqual published its  annual report for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 on 7 July 2020.

Ofqual has also updated the Guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers document to reflect the 2020 consultation decision outcomes and 2021 exam series consultation proposals.

Ofqual consultation on the 2021 examination series

Ofqual has published its consultation on the 2021 examination series on 2 July 2020. Ofqual has also published a position paper on vocational and technical qualifications and assessments 2020/21. The consultation will be open for two weeks starting on 2 July 2020 and ending on 16 July 2020. Online responses can be submitted here.

Ofqual – consultation on appeals and decisions re Autumn series

Ofqual published a consultation (30 June 2020) on statutory guidance in relation to appeals under the General Qualifications Covid regulatory framework. Students will be able to appeal – through their school or college – if they believe the process this summer was not followed correctly in their case; and centres themselves can appeal if they believe something systemic has gone wrong in relation to their results.

Ofqual also published its decision on an additional GCSE, AS and A level exam series in autumn 2020. Any student unable to receive a calculated result, and others who would like to improve their grades, will have an opportunity to take the full suite of GCSE, AS and A level exams in the autumn.

An equalities analysis has also been published.

General qualifications – Autumn series

With the exception of art and design, grades will be based on exam performance alone, with no non-exam assessment. Ofqual has published research about the impact of coursework on different groups of students, such as those of different ethnicities and gender. It concludes that variation in GCSE and A level grade outcomes is largely explained by students’ prior attainment and finds little evidence that coursework in the subjects researched has any impact on outcomes for students with special educational needs.

Ofqual’s Guidance to Centres and the broader range of information relating to arrangements for awarding qualifications this summer can be found on Ofqual’s website.

Ofqual letter to Heads of Centres and 2021 exams and assessments

Sally Collier, Chief Regulatory, has written to Heads of Centres. In the letter, she thanks heads of centres, teachers and exams officers for the role everyone has played in making judgements about the grades and rank order objectively and fairly for all students and in submitting them to the exam boards on time. The letter also covers results days, appeals, the Autumn series, and 2021 exams and assessments.

Updates and decisions from Ofqual and DfE on arrangements for awarding grades and the Autumn series 

Ofqual statement, analysis and decisions in response to the consultation on exceptional arrangements for awarding GCSEs, AS, A levels, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in maths.

Ofqual has also published an infographic on the process for awarding GCSEs, AS and A levels summer 2020 and updated information for students and schools and colleges films.

Ofqual is launching a consultation on the Autumn services. The closing date is 8th June. If you wish to provide a response to the consultation, Ofqual asks that you use the online response form.

Ofqual has also updated Guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers and Information for Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and teachers on the submission of Centre assessment grades.

Ofqual also published the consultation decisions on the assessment and grading of vocational, technical and other general qualifications.

The DfE has also published guidance for centre on their responsibility for autumn GCSE, AS and A level exam series. This sets out expectations for centres on who should be responsible for entering candidates for autumn exams.

On 15 May 2020, Ofqual published a blog on Making grades as fair as they can be: advice for schools and colleges and additional information for Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and teachers on objectivity in grading and ranking.

Ofqual also published Guidance for Centres – The awarding of vocational and technical qualifications, and other general qualifications, in summer 2020.

Ofqual has published guidance setting out details about how GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded this summer and published further guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers

Letter from Ofqual
Ofqual has written to all schools and colleges ahead of the 2020 exam series. The letter includes information about exam package security, timetable clashes and exam paper leaks. The letter includes a link to specific resources to help students and parents understand the importance of complying with the rules on phones and smart watches. The letter also sets out where schools and colleges can find information on how to deal with serious disruption.

Blogs published by Ofqual can be found below:

3 September 2018