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Maintaining Standards

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At the SSAT event Isabel Nisbet spoke of Ofqual's commitment to maintaining standards.

At the SSAT event Isabel Nisbet spoke of Ofqual's commitment to maintaining standards.

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    • 1. Ofqual: maintaining standards Isabel Nisbet Acting CEO, Ofqual SSAT, Leeds 6 February 2009
    • 2. Outline
      • What’s distinctive about Ofqual
      • The new Bill
      • Events – “SATs” and Lord Sutherland
      • Two themes
            • Technology and assessment
            • Reliability
    • 3. About Ofqual
          • Independent of Government and QCA
          • To ensure standards and confidence in qualifications, exams and tests
          • Launched (in shadow form) in April 08
          • Legislation in 08-09 session
          • Meantime distinct part of QCA
    • 4. How we want to work
          • Visibly
            • Summer exams and tests
            • Areas of legitimate debate – however uncomfortable
            • Not just when things go wrong
          • In collaboration
            • With users of qualifications and those whom we regulate
            • But no regulatory capture
    • 5. How we want to work
          • Expertly
            • Working with the assessment experts
            • Judgements based on evidence, not headlines
          • Engaging the public
            • Learners’ panels, open letters, discussion papers, blogs, listening…….
          • Rooting for the learner
            • Learners’ panels
    • 6. The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill
      • Published yesterday
      • Clear statutory objectives for Ofqual
            • Standards
            • Confidence
            • Awareness
            • Efficiency
          • Independence
            • Reporting to Parliament
          • Sharper powers
            • And we’ll use them if necessary
          • Statutory role to regulate National Curriculum Tests
    • 7. Events, dear boy, events
    • 8. Events, dear boy, events
    • 9. “ SATs” and Lord Sutherland
      • Tests are delivered by the Secretary of State, through the QCA
      • Ofqual regulates the delivery and quality of tests and results
      • A non-statutory role now, but provisions in the new Bill to make it statutory
      • QCA contracts with several organisations for:
            • Question-paper setting
            • Printing, transport etc
            • Delivery to schools
            • Marking and production of results
          • Ofqual’s role: to regulate in a way that assures that all aspects of tests are of an acceptable quality and delivered effectively
    • 10. What happened in 2008
      • Design delivery of tests papers and arrangements for sitting tests – all OK
      • Administration of marking and logistics of aggregation and collection of marks and return of results to schools – WENT WRONG – deadline for delivering results to schools was missed
      • Ofqual was tracking events and feeding back concerns to QCA
      • When it was clear that the deadline would be missed, Ofqual commissioned an independent inquiry (Lord Sutherland) – Government co-sponsored
      • Lord Sutherland asked to look at regulation too
      • Close tracking of closure of series and marking reviews
      • Overall judgement about quality of marking
    • 11. Lessons learned
      • Roles need to be clearer:
            • QCA
            • Contractors
            • Regulator
            • DCSF
      • Regulation needs to be more formalised
      • Need to have an end-to-end view of fragmented processes
      • Risks need to be managed better – but there will always be risks
      • MARKER PROFESSIONALISM ESSENTIAL
    • 12. For 2009
      • No mandatory KS3 tests (but many schools using tests voluntarily)
      • New contractor to deliver KS2 test results (Edexcel)
      • Work with existing markers
      • Regular overviews by Ofqual
      • Meanwhile:
            • Pilots of Single Level Tests
            • Expert Group looking at KS3 (Ofqual submitted research evidence)
            • Commitment to modernisation of processes in future
    • 13. Ofqual’s in-tray
    • 14. A few pieces from the in-tray
      • Judging new entries to the system
            • New GCSEs for accreditation (English, Maths and ICT)
            • 2 nd phase of Diplomas
            • New organisations (including employers and colleges) wanting to award qualifications
          • This summer’s exams and tests
          • Qualifications market studies – fees and efficiency
          • Maintaining standards in new/changed qualifications
          • Preparing for independence
          • Completing the move to Coventry
    • 15. Regulatory principles for e-assessment
      • Validity and reliability
      • Security
      • Data integrity
      • Access to e-assessment
      • Business continuity and disaster recovery
      • Use of e-portfolios
    • 16. E-assessment: What the regulator can do
      • Clear regulatory principles engender the confidence for investment in technology to enhance qualifications 
      • Regulator can help take a leadership role in:
          • the appropriate application of technology
          • encouraging collaborative working
          • Stimulating innovation
          • shaping public perception
    • 17. Reliability – what the papers say Saturday, 31 January 2009
    • 18. Reliability - re-positioning the debate
      • Academic discussions of reliability
            • Need for empirical work
              • Examining consistency of outcomes across a range of tests/assessments
          • Questions about quality/accuracy of marking
            • Critiques of national curriculum assessments
            • Letters from teachers
            • Worries about internal assessment
          • The challenge of assessing learning in an applied context
          • OFQUAL NEEDS TO RE-POSITION THE DEBATE
            • WITH THE EXPERTS
            • WITH THE PUBLIC
    • 19. Our aims
      • To ensure:
      • that the qualifications market is fit for purpose
      • that qualifications, exams and tests are fair
      • that standards are secure
      • that public confidence is sustained
      • that the interests of learners are paramount.
    • 20. Outline
      • What’s distinctive about Ofqual
      • The new Bill
      • Events – “SATs” and Lord Sutherland
      • Two themes
            • Technology and assessment
            • Reliability
    • 21. Conclusions
      • Ofqual: independent, about standards and confidence
      • The new Bill will give us the tools to do our job
      • Shining light on the difficult issues
            • Technology in assessment
            • Reliability
          • CHALLENGE US – we’re up for it
    • 22.
      • Thank you
      • [email_address]
      • www.ofqual.gov.uk