Last week Ofqual, the exams regulator, detailed its approach to grading exams and assessments next Summer. In summary they are committed to exams taking place next Summer, the first time in three years. However, Ofqual recognise the significant disruption to teaching/learning that has occurred during the pandemic and to mitigate that effect are ‘adapting’ examinations next year to include:
Introducing a choice of topics or content in some GCSE exams
Exam boards giving advance information about the focus of the content of exams
Allowing study aids in some exams
Ofqual has also stated its aim to return to a pre-pandemic grade profile. Therefore, exam boards will set the grade boundaries, determined by senior examiners for each specification, based on a profile that reflects a midpoint between 2021 and pre-pandemic grading.
However, as previous experience has shown, further disruption to learning or examinations cannot be discounted. To this end Ofqual have produced a consultation paper inviting all interested parties to express their views on proposed contingency arrangements for awarding Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) in the event exams are not able to go ahead as planned.
Tutors & Exams urge all private candidates and their parents/carers to respond to the consultation before it closes on Wednesday 13th October 2021. In the meantime we will continue to consult with all stakeholders to ensure the assessment needs of those outside of mainstream educations are considered before any final decisions are taken.