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Monday, October 18, 2021

Pupils in England to get selection of matters and ‘advance data’ to make exams ‘fairer’ | UK Information

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Pupils taking GCSEs and A-levels in England subsequent 12 months might be given a selection of matters and be advised the “focus” of exams upfront to “maximise equity”.

The intention is to “assist college students attain their potential” after studying was disrupted throughout COVID, the Division for Schooling (DfE) mentioned.

Following a session that attracted greater than 6,000 responses, it has been determined there might be a “selection of matters” in GCSE English Literature, Historical past and Historic Historical past, whereas there might be a “selection of content material” in GCSE Geography.

Within the majority of topics at GCSE, AS and A-level, advance data might be given within the spring “on the main target of the content material of exams”.

“Assist supplies” together with formulae sheets might be offered in Arithmetic, Physics, and mixed science exams.

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Amongst these responding to the session, greater than 90% of scholars and fogeys had been in favour of giving advance data and about 80% agreed with providing decisions of matters.

Unions mentioned advance data must be offered sooner than the spring to assist academics put together pupils for the examination corridor.

Ofqual, in the meantime, has set out its technique on grading, following a few years through which a higher proportion of students received top grades in comparison with pre-pandemic years total.

College students are more likely to get greater grades in 2022 than earlier than the pandemic, the DfE mentioned, including that examination boards will set grade boundaries to replicate a “halfway level between 2021 and 2019”.

Outcomes are anticipated to return to the “regular grade profile” by 2023, the DfE added.

There might be a ‘selection of matters’ in GCSE English Literature, Historical past and Historic Historical past

“Our grading method will recognise the disruption skilled by college students taking exams in 2022,” mentioned Ofqual’s chief regulator, Dr Jo Saxton.

“It would present a security internet for many who may in any other case simply miss out on the next grade, whereas taking a step again to regular.”

Schooling Secretary Nadhim Zahawi mentioned equity was on the “coronary heart of our method”.

He continued: “The measures we’re setting up will assist cut back the influence of the numerous disruption this group of younger individuals have needed to face – permitting them to maneuver onto the following stage of their lives.”

Dr Mary Bousted, joint common secretary of the Nationwide Schooling Union, mentioned the plans won’t “allay the nervousness or reply the questions” that many academics have.

She added: “Solely giving superior details about the exams in time for revision will end in a ‘subject lottery’ the place some college students could have occurred to have coated the matters on the examination in enough depth and others could effectively haven’t.”

On grades, Dr Bousted mentioned the federal government and Ofqual are “choosing an arbitrary quantity out of the air”.

Paul Whiteman, common secretary of college leaders’ union the NAHT, additionally mentioned spring was too late to offer advance data.

However Geoff Barton, common secretary of the Affiliation of Faculty and Faculty Leaders, mentioned he welcomed the “smart set of measures”.

Final month, a file variety of GCSE entries had been awarded top grades after exterior exams had been swapped for instructor assessments for the second 12 months working due to the pandemic.

And A-level college students acquired extra A and A* grades this 12 months than ever before.

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