Ofqual's Roles and Responsibilities

827 views
710 views

Published on

Isabel Nisbet spoke at the UCAS Routes for Success event on 27 February, regarding Ofqual's role and responsibility.

Published in: Education
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
827
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
32
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
11
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Ofqual's Roles and Responsibilities

  1. 1. OFQUAL’S ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES Isabel Nisbet Acting CEO UCAS 27 February 2009
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>What’s distinctive about Ofqual </li></ul><ul><li>The new Bill </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence and urban myths </li></ul><ul><li>Four themes </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining standards in a time of change </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Regulating the new Diplomas </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult subjects </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reflecting high levels of attainment </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>Second reading this week </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. Confidence sapping and urban myths <ul><li>Grade drift – everyone gets As nowadays </li></ul><ul><li>“In 1984, 70.1% of candidates passed their A levels and 9.3% were awarded an A grade. This year, two decades on, 96.3% passed, 22.4% achieved the top grade and the controversy over the meaningfulness of these remarkable statistics rages once again in what has become, for everyone involved, a deeply dispiriting ritual” (Chris Woodhead, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>University entrants can’t spell/read/count …. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The flattening graph of high achievement
  9. 9. Evidence 1: A levels achieved by comparable students (source: Durham University)
  10. 10. Possible explanations <ul><li>Teaching and learning have improved </li></ul><ul><li>Examination performance has improved </li></ul><ul><li>The same levels of knowledge and understanding are now easier to demonstrate </li></ul><ul><li>Demographic changes have facilitated better performance </li></ul><ul><li>Public examinations have changed too much to make valid comparisons possible </li></ul><ul><li>The same grade now represents a lower level of ability </li></ul>
  11. 11. Evidence 2: Ofqual standards reviews <ul><li>Analyse the nature of the requirements different examinations make on students </li></ul><ul><li>Compare the levels of performance required for a particular grade </li></ul><ul><li>Consider how these two elements relate to each other </li></ul>
  12. 12. Ofqual standards reviews <ul><li>60 studies carried out since 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>Most detected no change in standards over time </li></ul><ul><li>Notable exceptions: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GCSE history </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GCSE and A level music </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>More to be published next month </li></ul><ul><li>We speak as we find </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>When do grades in two examinations have the same standard? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When they are equally likely to be achieved </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When they represent equal intellectual demand </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Challenges for Ofqual <ul><li>Carrying forward standards into the: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>new A levels </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>new GCSEs </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Setting appropriate standards in: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>diploma principal learning </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>projects </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>functional skills </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Fings ain’t wat they used to be (“undergraduates nowadays can’t spell…”) <ul><ul><ul><li>“On one matter there was almost universal agreement; that among university entrants in general the ability to write English is disappointingly low.” (1960 JMB Annual Report) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“The only point that calls for report is the general weakness of a large proportion of the candidates” (Pure and Applied Mathematics, Higher School Certificate, JMB, 1924) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Maintaining standards in a time of change <ul><li>Unprecedented change in 14-19 qualifications </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4-unit A-levels </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stretch and challenge </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A* </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Modular GCSEs- Structural changes in GCSE maths and science </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Diplomas </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vocational qualifications and the new vocabulary of the Qualifications and Credit Framework </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More demand for HE/FE from a wider range of students </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Ofqual’s role <ul><li>An independent quality standard which new qualifications have to meet </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Including “alternatives” (IB, pre-U….) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>On the front foot to ensure that awarding bodies apply standards consistently and fairly </li></ul><ul><li>Close monitoring – intervention if necessary </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New ASs </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fairness to learners (the guinea-pigs) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assurance to users of exam results </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Regulating the new Diplomas – Ofqual’s role <ul><li>Doorkeeper – to accredit specifications that meet our requirements and reject those that don’t </li></ul><ul><li>Assurer of the system to bring together students’ attainment to get their award </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor of standard-setting </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On the front foot – common approach agreed with awarding bodies </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On Ofqual's website </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Close monitoring of level-setting, awarding and grading against our requirement </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intervention if necessary </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Difficult/easy subjects – Ofqual’s role <ul><li>To bring together evidence and work for consistency and fairness </li></ul><ul><li>Seminar last year involving the advocates for difficult subjects: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MFL </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maths </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physics </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No common theoretical base </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ofqual’s studies of groups of cognate subjects </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Reflecting high attainment at A level <ul><li>The need to discriminate </li></ul><ul><li>A-level – a changed qualification (2005 White Paper) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“stretch and challenge” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>more synoptic assessment </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>controls on internal assessment </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More information for universities (unit grades/marks) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plus the A* </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. The A* - Ofqual’s role <ul><li>A new measure in the context of a changed qualification </li></ul><ul><li>Will identify the highest attainers at A2 </li></ul><ul><li>Ofqual on the front foot with awarding bodies to ensure that the technical approach for awarding A* is fair and consistent </li></ul><ul><li>Close monitoring and intervention if necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Ofqual will ensure the A* is a fair and reliable measure. </li></ul><ul><li>Over to you to decide on how/whether to use </li></ul>
  22. 22. Outline <ul><li>What’s distinctive about Ofqual </li></ul><ul><li>The new Bill </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence and urban myths </li></ul><ul><li>Four themes </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining standards in a time of change </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Regulating the new Diplomas </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult subjects </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reflecting high levels of attainment </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Conclusions – what Ofqual can do for you <ul><li>Assure standards and fairness across a range of changing qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Shine a light on the urban myths </li></ul><ul><li>Bring together different approaches to difficult problems (e.g. comparability) </li></ul><ul><li>Be proactive to ensure that grades are awarded fairly and consistently by awarding bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Apply the same high quality standards to Diplomas and vocational qualifications that we do to A levels </li></ul>
  24. 24. What we can’t do <ul><li>Provide a foolproof single method to select undergraduates </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best predictive indicator still GCSE results </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. What we can’t do <ul><li>Provide a foolproof single method to select undergraduates </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best predictive indicator still GCSE results </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>End all discussion about “dumbing down” for evermore </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. What we can’t do <ul><li>Provide a foolproof singe method to select undergraduates </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best predictive indicator still GCSE results </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>End all discussion about “dumbing down” for evermore </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compare media studies and trigonometry in a methodology that all academics will accept </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. What we can’t do <ul><li>Provide a foolproof singe method to select undergraduates </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best predictive indicator still GCSE results </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>End all discussion about “dumbing down” for evermore </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compare media studies and trigonometry in a methodology that all academics will accept </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teach undergraduates to spell… </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Ofqual’s vision <ul><li>The independent regulator of qualifications and assessments that are valued and trusted by learners, users and the wider public. </li></ul>

×