Sector News

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Our proposals for assessing general qualifications in 2021 and the direction ahead for vocational and technical qualifications.

Students expecting to take exams and assessments next year, and their teachers, tutors, parents and carers, are understandably concerned about the disruption to their education caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Department for Education (DfE) has already introduced a number of measures to support schools and colleges and help reduce the impact on learning due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). Our focus is on exams and assessments – and ensuring they are as fair as possible and support students to progress to the next stage of their lives. We have today (Thursday 2 July) published our consultation on proposals designed to support students taking GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2021 – alongside our initial plans for other general, vocational and technical qualifications.

In line with the Secretary of State for Education’s letter to Ofqual, we are planning for exams and assessments to be taken next year. We have been working across the sector to consider a range of possible measures to free up teaching time and, in limited subjects, allow teachers some choice in the topics they teach.

We are consulting on a range of proposals for general qualifications including:

Adaptations to free up teaching time

We have proposed adaptations in a number of subjects to give teachers more time to cover the full content and help relieve the pressure on students. For example, removing the requirement to record the spoken language assessment in GCSE English language; allowing GCSE students to observe (rather than undertake) practical science work; and assessing art and design students on their portfolio alone. We are discussing with subject associations how they might be able to support teachers in making these modifications.

Adaptations to allow for future public health safeguards

We have identified those subjects which we believe could be particularly affected if public health safeguards were needed in the next academic year, and suggested how these might be addressed. This includes changes to performance rules in dance and drama, and permitting design and technology students to watch teachers demonstrate the use of machinery, rather than to use the machinery themselves.

Sampling of subject content

The Secretary of State has explained in his letter that he is not minded to specify changes to DfE content which forms the foundation for GCSE, AS and A level qualifications, but he has asked us to explore use of content sampling in question papers and increasing the use of optional questions.

The DfE, which is responsible for content, has confirmed this option should not be used in GCSE English language, English literature, maths and the sciences, because these core subjects are so fundamental to students’ ability to progress successfully to further study; nor should it apply at AS or A level. While our proposals already introduce opportunities to free up teaching time in many subjects, without needing to make changes to content sampling, this has not been possible for GCSE history, ancient history and geography. We appreciate that students taking these subjects may benefit from their centres having greater choice over what they are taught and we have set out proposals to allow for this.

For GCSE history and ancient history, we are seeking views on proposals which would introduce a choice of topics on which students would be required to answer questions in their exams, with one topic remaining mandatory. For GCSE geography, we propose that the content relating to fieldwork should not be assessed in 2021. We believe that, in the circumstances, this is acceptable and the fairest way to mitigate the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) for students taking these subjects in summer 2021 and that the proposed changes will not have an undue impact on students’ successful progression to A level.

Changes to the exam timetable

We have asked the exam boards to consider how the 2021 exam timetable could be changed to allow more time for teaching - in particular, whether GCSE exams could start after half term, on 7 June 2021. We are also seeking views on whether such a change would be appropriate for the AS/A level exam timetable, and the impact of any delay in issuing results.

Sally Collier, Chief Regulator, Ofqual, said:

We have considered a wide range of options before coming forward with a set of proposals for next year’s GCSE, AS and A level exams which will help reduce the pressure on students and teachers, while allowing them to progress with valid qualifications which higher educational institutions and employers can trust. I would encourage all those with an interest in our consultation to give us their views.

The consultation is open until Thursday 16 July, with final decisions announced in August.

Vocational and technical qualifications

Learners taking vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) have also experienced lost teaching time and appropriate arrangements need to be put in place to mitigate the impact of this disruption. Any mitigations will need to account for the complexity of the VTQ landscape, and the different ways in which the qualifications are used. We have already heard useful feedback from our engagement with the sector and we have set out today the guiding principles which will determine our approach. We will continue to discuss these principles with colleges, employers, representative groups and awarding organisations as we formulate our plans, which we expect to publish in more detail in the coming weeks.

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 1 hour 46 minutes ago

Matt’s the man for the job at Middlesbrough College Group: Middlesbrough College Group (@mbrocollege) has appointed… https://t.co/T4z2oteHyB
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page