Maintaining Standards

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

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  • Maintaining Standards

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

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