A level briefing presentation, 18 May 2010

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Presentation on new A levels given at the A level briefing event, 18 May 2010

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A level briefing presentation, 18 May 2010

  1. 1. Welcome New A Levels Briefing Event: 18 May 2010
  2. 2. Welcome <ul><li>New A Levels </li></ul><ul><li>Briefing Event: 18 th May 2010 </li></ul>Kathleen Tattersall Chair and Chief Regulator
  3. 3. <ul><li>Ensuring standards are maintained in A Levels </li></ul>Dennis Opposs Director of Standards
  4. 4. Purpose of today <ul><li>To share with you: </li></ul><ul><li>Details of the changes to A levels this summer </li></ul><ul><li>What we have already done, and why </li></ul><ul><li>Information on how ‘the system’ works </li></ul><ul><li>The background to the A* grade and the way it will operate </li></ul><ul><li>Our next steps, before summer results </li></ul><ul><li>Our plans for further work, after summer results </li></ul>
  5. 5. Principles of good regulation <ul><li>Accountable </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent </li></ul><ul><li>Proportionate </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted </li></ul><ul><li>Transparent </li></ul>
  6. 6. Changes to A levels <ul><li>6 to 4 units (for most subjects) </li></ul><ul><li>Stretch and challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Revised, updated and re-packaged content </li></ul><ul><li>Changes to coursework </li></ul><ul><li>New A* grade </li></ul>
  7. 7. Preparing for 2010 <ul><li>November 2006 – new A* grade agreed </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2007 – new specifications accredited </li></ul><ul><li>September 2008 – first teaching of new specifications </li></ul><ul><li>January 2009 – first revised AS units assessed </li></ul><ul><li>March 2009 – Ofqual open letter about maintaining standards </li></ul><ul><li>August 2009 – first revised AS qualification results </li></ul><ul><li>January 2010 – first revised A2 units assessed </li></ul><ul><li>February 2010 – Ofqual open letter about A* </li></ul><ul><li>March 2010 – report on first AS scrutiny monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>May 2010 – briefing event for teaching associations </li></ul>
  8. 8. How are A level grades awarded? <ul><li>Awarding committees for each specification </li></ul><ul><li>Script evidence informed by statistical evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Grade boundaries set at unit level, unit by unit </li></ul><ul><li>A and E set by awarders; B, C, D (and A*) set arithmetically </li></ul><ul><li>Raw marks converted to UMS for each unit </li></ul><ul><li>UMS for each unit added to give overall grade </li></ul>Unit 1 85 UMS Unit 2 80 UMS Unit 3 75 UMS Unit 4 65 UMS = 305 UMS = B
  9. 9. Raw marks to uniform marks <ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Candidates sit units at different times </li></ul><ul><li>Level of demand can vary </li></ul><ul><li>Raw marks are relative to the level of demand </li></ul><ul><li>Uniform marks put all marks on the same scale </li></ul><ul><li>For example – 77 raw marks </li></ul>76 June 2009 78 January 2009 Unit 1 Grade A boundary
  10. 10. The Uniform Mark Scale (UMS) <ul><li>Used in all unitised qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Converts raw marks to scores on a uniform scale </li></ul><ul><li>Controls for relative difficulty of different question papers </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed grade boundaries at unit and qualification level </li></ul>160 200 240 280 320 320 (180 at A2) 4 units Max 400 UMS 80 240 E 100 300 D 120 360 C 140 420 B 160 480 A 160 (90 at A2) 480 (270 at A2) A* 2 units Max 200 UMS 6 units Max 600 UMS A level Grade
  11. 11. The Uniform Mark Scale (UMS) <ul><li>Used in all unitised qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Converts raw marks to scores on a uniform scale </li></ul><ul><li>Controls for relative difficulty of different question papers </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed grade boundaries at unit and qualification level </li></ul>160 200 240 280 320 320 (180 at A2) 4 units Max 400 UMS 80 240 E 100 300 D 120 360 C 140 420 B 160 480 A 160 (90 at A2) 480 (270 at A2) A* 2 units Max 200 UMS 6 units Max 600 UMS A level Grade
  12. 12. The Uniform Mark Scale (UMS) <ul><li>Used in all unitised qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Converts raw marks to scores on a uniform scale </li></ul><ul><li>Controls for relative difficulty of different question papers </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed grade boundaries at unit and qualification level </li></ul>160 200 240 280 320 320 (180 at A2) 4 units Max 400 UMS 80 240 E 100 300 D 120 360 C 140 420 B 160 480 A 160 (90 at A2) 480 (270 at A2) A* 2 units Max 200 UMS 6 units Max 600 UMS A level Grade
  13. 13. The Uniform Mark Scale (UMS) <ul><li>Used in all unitised qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Converts raw marks to scores on a uniform scale </li></ul><ul><li>Controls for relative difficulty of different question papers </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed grade boundaries at unit and qualification level </li></ul>160 200 240 280 320 320 (180 at A2) 4 units Max 400 UMS 80 240 E 100 300 D 120 360 C 140 420 B 160 480 A 160 (90 at A2) 480 (270 at A2) A* 2 units Max 200 UMS 6 units Max 600 UMS A level Grade
  14. 14. The Code of Practice - awarding <ul><li>Qualitative Evidence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Question paper/task and mark scheme for current and previous series </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Report by principal examiner/moderator including boundary recommendations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Archive scripts/work from previous series </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A sample of current candidate work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any published grade or performance descriptions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quantitative Evidence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mark distributions for current and previous series </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outcomes in previous series </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any changes in entry patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Centres’ estimated grades (at unit level for A level) </li></ul></ul>Taken from section 6.15 of the GCSE, GCE principal learning and project code of practice, April 2010
  15. 15. Statistical indicators <ul><li>Based on prior GCSE performance </li></ul><ul><li>Give an indication of likely overall outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to predictions from ALIS, ALPS etc used by centres </li></ul><ul><li>Already widely used by awarding bodies </li></ul><ul><li>For whole cohort, not individual candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Take account of differences between awarding bodies’ entries </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a reporting mechanism to regulators before results issued </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Results reported if outside agreed thresholds </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Explanation provided by awarding body </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consideration by regulators </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Regulators may ask awarding body to reconsider grade boundaries </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comparison across awarding bodies </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Setting appropriate standards - the new A* grade </li></ul>Cath Jadhav Head of Qualification Standards
  17. 17. A* grading – the options <ul><li>In 2007 QCA/DfES consulted on possible approaches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Award A* on the whole A level qualification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Award A* on the whole A level qualification with a hurdle at A2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Award A* on A2 units and the A level qualification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Award A* on a reported aggregated A2 grade and the A level qualification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Award A* on the AS and the A level qualifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Award A* on AS and A2 units and the AS and A level qualifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decouple AS and A2 and award A* on A2 units and the A2 qualification </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. A* grading – the agreed method <ul><li>Option 2 – Award A* on the whole A level qualification with a hurdle at A2 </li></ul><ul><li>More specifically: </li></ul><ul><li>Awarded to candidates who have achieved: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An A grade overall in their A level, and </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>90% of the maximum UMS marks at A2 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>For all A levels </li></ul><ul><li>Calculated grade, not judgemental </li></ul><ul><li>Even with 100% at AS, a candidate will still need 90% at A2 to achieve an A* </li></ul>
  19. 19. A* examples (4 unit specifications) <ul><li>Points to note: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High UMS scores at AS will not necessarily mean a candidate achieves an A* grade - candidates will still need 90% at A2 to achieve an A* </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some students with grade A will have higher total UMS marks than those who have achieved an A* if they scored high marks on their AS units </li></ul></ul>A 178 378 83 95 100 100 4 A* 187 362 92 95 85 90 3 A 177 362 85 92 95 90 2 A* 187 367 92 95 90 90 1 Grade A2 UMS Total UMS A2 Unit 4 A2 Unit 3 AS Unit 2 AS Unit 1 Candidate
  20. 20. A* examples (6 unit specifications) A* 275 525 90 91 94 80 85 85 2 A 261 561 82 87 92 100 100 100 1 Grade A2 UMS Total UMS A2 Unit 6 A2 Unit 5 A2 Unit 4 AS Unit 3 AS Unit 2 AS Unit 1 Candidate
  21. 21. A* results in summer 2010 <ul><li>Points to consider: </li></ul><ul><li>No previous results to compare with </li></ul><ul><li>Variations between subjects likely (as at A and E) </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency between awarding bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Indicators for all subjects, nationally and by awarding body </li></ul><ul><li>Indicators for A* grade </li></ul><ul><li>Based on same methodology as for A and E </li></ul><ul><li>For 2010, based on 2009 data if there had been an A* grade </li></ul>
  22. 22. Next steps, before summer results <ul><li>Regular meetings with awarding body colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring awarding body meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Review of data from award </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>After each award </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compare with statistical indicators </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compare across awarding bodies </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Meet with awarding bodies once all awards completed </li></ul>
  23. 23. Further work, after summer results <ul><li>Continue scrutiny monitoring work </li></ul><ul><li>Review and report on summer 2010 awards </li></ul><ul><li>Continue meetings with awarding bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to feedback from stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Report on first A level scrutiny monitoring in March 2011 </li></ul>
  24. 24. In conclusion <ul><li>Guiding principles this summer </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness to all candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency across all awarding bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul>Isabel Nisbet Chief Executive
  25. 25. Panel Discussion <ul><li>Panel Chair: Isabel Nisbet </li></ul><ul><li>Kathleen Tattersall, Chair and Chief Regulator </li></ul><ul><li>Dennis Opposs, Director of Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Cath Jadhav, Head of Qualification Standards </li></ul>
  26. 26. Further information (1) <ul><li>CCEA www.ccea.org.uk </li></ul><ul><li>DCELLS www.wales.gov.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Ofqual www.ofqual.gov.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Ofqual open letters: </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining standards in new A levels - http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/news-and-announcements/127/209 </li></ul><ul><li>New A* grade – </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/news-and-announcements/127/217 </li></ul>
  27. 27. Further information (2) <ul><li>Information about UMS </li></ul><ul><li>AQA http://web.aqa.org.uk/over/stat_ums.php </li></ul><ul><li>CCEA www.rewardinglearning.org.uk/regulation/ accreditation_and_monitoring/ums.asp </li></ul><ul><li>Edexcel www.edexcel.com/iwantto/I%20want%20to% 20%20Tasks/UMS-Awarding-Modular-GCE- Qualifications-update-Mar-10.doc </li></ul><ul><li>OCR www.ocr.org.uk/learners/ums/ </li></ul><ul><li>WJEC www.wjec.co.uk/uploads/publications/9462.doc </li></ul>
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