The Third Report of the Chief Regulator

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Presentations from the event launching the Third Report of the Chief Regulator of quailfications, examinations and assessments.

Presentations from the event launching the Third Report of the Chief Regulator of quailfications, examinations and assessments.

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  • Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the British Library – the home of many great documents including the Magna Carta and The Canterbury Tales, and now Ofqual’s 3 rd Chief Regulator’s Report. Since we launched our 2 nd report last year, we have seen many changes; a change in government, the stepping down of our Chair and a new white paper in education and strategy for skills. Many things, however, haven’t changed. We remain committed to regulation, and to the principles of better regulation. We remain under the leadership of a strong board, members of which I am especially pleased to welcome today, and we continue to be fair and open, and to build effective relationships with our stakeholders, including awarding organisations, schools, colleges and higher education. To that end, I am pleased today to also welcome Professor Robert Burgess, Chair of UCAS and vice chancellor of the University of Leicester. We are grateful that Professor Burgess has agreed to speak today to us all about the importance of maintaining the strength of qualifications as tools for progression to higher education. However, before we move into the main body of today’s event, it falls to me to take the role of ‘keeper of the house’. I must inform you that there are no fire drills planned for today, so if you hear the fire alarm, please assume that it is for real and make your way to the nearest emergency exit. I also want to inform you that we are recording today’s event so that we may have a record of today’s presentations here in the main auditorium that we can stream later on, on our website to enable those who have been unable to attend to also be a part of the launch event. We are keen to share today’s event, and the Chief Regulator’s Report itself, with a wide audience. We recognise that this is a time of some change and uncertainty, for designers, deliverers, providers, teachers and learners in education. Our report, as our Chief Executive Isabel Nisbet will talk to you about next, details our principles for regulating during this time and looks at the lessons we have learned in the time since our inception. And without further ado, I introduce to you Isabel Nisbet.
  • 47 qualification types currently listed on the UCAS Tariff. We regulate all qualifications in England (except degrees) and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. Many of these qualifications have points values on the Tariff. We also work closely with the regulators in Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as in Scotland, to ensure parity of standards between qualifications and over time.
  • Equally as we face challenges, we want to challenge you!
  • Thank you Sandra, and thank you also to Isabel and to Professor Burgess. I hope that what we have heard this morning has given you plenty to think about, and to consider both in terms of the current situation and our regulatory work, and also how you are working within the education system in today’s context. We have explained to you the principles that we have developed from our position as independent regulator. We have also explained to you lessons that we have learned as we have carried out our work and we have explained how these lessons, and our experiences have shaped our plans for the future. These plans are provided in much more detail in the consultations that we currently have open – and I would encourage you to respond to these consultations so that we can gather your ideas and thoughts about the regulated system of qualifications, and aspects of the system including economic regulation and management of complaints and appeals. Please do speak to us if you are interested in our consultations. But for now, back to the Chief Regulator’s Report. The rest of our event today provides much opportunity for discussion. We will shortly be taking a refreshment break, where I would encourage you to speak with members of our Board and representatives from Ofqual, for whom this report is an important statement of our thinking and our approach to regulation. After the break we will move into our seminar rooms where you will have the opportunity to discuss in detail some of the regulatory principles from our report. I will explain the set up for these seminars shortly. After the seminars, we invite you to join us for lunch; where again we will be happy to talk with you about Ofqual’s work and about the education system in which we all operate. So, to the detail of the seminars. You have been randomly allocated to one of three different groups; yellow, orange and green. You’ll see that you have a small coloured dot on your name badge. Those of you with yellow dots will be taking part in a seminar led by Jeremy Benson, our Director of Strategic Management, in Meeting Room 1. Those of you who have orange dots will be in Meeting Room 2 with our Director of Standards Dennis Opposs. And those of you with green dots will be with our Director of Regulation Fiona Pethick in Meeting Room 4. The seminars will provide you with the opportunity to discuss in detail the key features and issues around the principles that we have presented to you in our Chief Regulator’s Report today. These principles can be found in Chapter 4 of our report. It is important that we understand the issues that are important to those we work with or have regard to in our role as the regulator. I’d encourage you to contribute openly in the groups as it is only by fostering open opportunities to communicate that we can fully understand the system in which we are all working. The discussion groups will provide you with the opportunity to discuss in detail 2 of the 7 principles. Which 2 will be your choice. On entering your seminar room you will see the principles on display individually, and we would ask you to select a principle to discuss and so to head for that principle. Half way through the discussion groups you will be asked to move onto a different principle for discussion. Please do use the refreshment break to think about which of our principles you would like to feedback on. To help further your thinking, we will be looking for the thoughts on three questions; Do you agree that this should be a principle for Ofqual as the regulator - if not why not? What should be the outcome of Ofqual setting this as a principle? What do you think Ofqual or those it regulates needs to do differently if this is a principle for the regulator? As you can see, these are fairly broad questions on the whole, and we hope to hear your views around the principles, their application and potential outcomes. We will be encouraging groups to make notes and these will be collated after this event. These notes will be available, along with the presentations from today, on our website next week. We will also use what we hear in the discussion groups to generate more ideas of how we can work together and how we prompt further debate around the issues important to us all. We will take a refreshment break now – so please take time to have a break and to discuss with your colleagues the issues important to you today. We will move into the seminar rooms directly after the break, and I would ask that you are in your allocated room ready to start at 11.30. I would again like to thank Isabel, Sandra and Professor Burgess for their contributions today and look forward to catching up with some of you over the break. Thank you.

Transcript

  • 1. Welcome Launch of The Third Chief Regulator’s Report 15 December 2010
  • 2. Welcome and Introduction Francis Thomas Director of Internal and External Affairs
  • 3. The Third Chief Regulator’s Report Isabel Nisbet Chief Executive
  • 4. Outline
    • The context
    • The report
    • Consistency and change
    • Looking forward
  • 5. Context – the policy environment
  • 6. Other changes
      • Economic pressures on qualification users and providers
    • Funding changes
    • Organisational changes at national level
    • Reviews and expert groups:
    • Early Years
    • Key Stage 2 assessments
    • National Curriculum
    • Vocational qualifications for young people
    • Education Bill in 2011
  • 7. Ofqual
    • Now a statutory non-Ministerial Government Department
    • Reporting to the UK Parliament and the NI Assembly
    • Board in place and active
          • Including Committee on regulation of VQs in Northern Ireland
        • Currently consulting on:
          • How we will regulate (“From Transition to Transformation”)
          • Economic regulation
          • Appeals
        • c160 staff, based in Coventry
  • 8. Ofqual is NOT
    • An agency of Ministerial Departments
    • The QCA
    • An education policy think-tank
    • A commentator on Government policy on education or assessment
    • A developer or awarder of qualifications or examinations
  • 9. Ofqual IS
    • A regulator of qualifications and statutory assessments
    • Pursuing objectives about:
          • Standards
          • Confidence
          • Awareness
          • Value for Money
      • Subject to the principles of GOOD regulation:
          • Proportionality
          • Accountability
          • Consistency
          • Transparency
          • Targeting
  • 10.  
  • 11. The Report
    • Why we regulate
    • How we intend to regulate awarding organisations and their qualifications
    • Lessons learned for the future
    • Ofqual’s principles for the future
  • 12. The Report
    • Why we regulate
    • How we intend to regulate awarding organisations and their qualifications
    • Lessons learned for the future
    • Ofqual’s principles for the future
  • 13. How will we regulate?
    • Placing responsibility firmly with awarding organisations
    • Regulating according to risk
    • Simplifying the system
    • Emphasising fitness for purpose
    • Acting transparently when things go wrong
    • Allowing space for innovation
    • Ensuring value for money
    • Dealing fairly and openly with complaints, enquiries and appeals
  • 14. How will we regulate?
    • Placing responsibility firmly with awarding organisations
    • Regulating according to risk
    • Simplifying the system
    • Emphasising fitness for purpose
    • Acting transparently when things go wrong
    • Allowing space for innovation
    • Ensuring value for money
    • Dealing fairly and openly with complaints, enquiries and appeals
  • 15. How will we regulate?
    • Placing responsibility firmly with awarding organisations
    • Regulating according to risk
    • Simplifying the system
    • Emphasising fitness for purpose
    • Acting transparently when things go wrong
    • Allowing space for innovation
    • Ensuring value for money
    • Dealing fairly and openly with complaints, enquiries and appeals
  • 16. For a qualification to offer value for money it must:
    • Be fit for purpose and set the right standards
    • Be provided and purchased as efficiently as possible
    • Have a fee level that appropriately reflects the costs
      • involved
  • 17. We will
    • Promote the efficiency of regulated organisations
    • Incentivise efficiency within the system
    • Remedy inefficiency when it occurs
  • 18. Efficiency – what Ministers have said to us
    • “… if you do find clear evidence that the market might not be operating efficiently on the supply side, we would expect you to intervene. ˮ
    • “ One .. power – that is crucial to your effectiveness as an economic regulator – is to cap fees. We would expect you to use that power whenever it is necessary to do so. ˮ
    • “ … .. We place considerable importance on your economic regulation work alongside your role to uphold standards. ˮ
  • 19. The Report
    • Why we regulate
    • How we intend to regulate awarding organisations and their qualifications
    • Lessons learned for the future
    • Ofqual’s principles for the future
  • 20. Future Principles
    • The interests of learners are paramount
    • Fitness for purpose is key to quality
    • Each awarding organisation is responsible for its qualifications
    • Content and potential for progression must be clear
    • There must be a consistent approach to standards in all qualifications
    • Qualifications must offer value for money
    • We must learn lessons from the past
  • 21. Future Principles
    • The interests of learners are paramount
    • Fitness for purpose is key to quality
    • Each awarding organisation is responsible for its qualifications
    • Content and potential for progression must be clear
    • There must be a consistent approach to standards in all qualifications
    • Qualifications must offer value for money
    • We must learn lessons from the past
  • 22. To be fit for purpose, qualifications must
    • Support progression to the next stage
        • - a qualification at the next level (eg A level)
        • - further or higher education
        • - employment
        • Support/reinforce the best teaching and learning
  • 23. Requirements for fitness for purpose can CHANGE
    • Good practice in teaching and learning
    • Comparison with our international competitors
  • 24. Ofqual’s international study of pre-university qualifications
    • Confirmed
    • South Korea
    • Hong Kong
    • New South Wales
    • New Zealand
    • New York State
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • Republic of Ireland
    • Netherlands
  • 25. Ofqual’s international study of pre-university qualifications
    • Confirmed
    • South Korea (…… Shanghai)
    • Hong Kong
    • New South Wales
    • New Zealand
    • New York State
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • Republic of Ireland
    • Netherlands
  • 26. Requirements for fitness for purpose can CHANGE
    • Good practice in teaching and learning
    • Comparison with our international competitors
    • The requirements of HE, employers or the professions
  • 27.  
  • 28.  
  • 29. What we look at
    • Validity
    • Reliability
    • Comparability (where appropriate)
    • Minimising bias
    • Manageability
  • 30. What we look at
    • Validity
    • Reliability
    • Comparability (where appropriate)
    • Minimising bias
    • Manageability
  • 31. Validity
      • Does the assessment measure the right things (narrow)
      • Is the qualification FIT FOR PURPOSE
        • - Does it support the best teaching and learning?
        • - Does it support progression?
  • 32. Progression to university
    • Need for clarity about what progression a qualification supports
    • Need for clear and timely messages
    • Students are not clairvoyants or codebreakers
    • Inequality if progress depends on expert advisers who know the codes
  • 33. Qualifications for university
    • Changing picture from UCAS on qualifications taken by UK-domiciled entrants to undergraduate courses
    • A levels still largest group, but more alternative routes used
    • However, preparation for university is a major purpose of A levels
    • How can we ensure that they are fit for that purpose?
  • 34. A levels and university entrance: Ofqual’s job
    • To make sure that A levels are fit for purpose:
          • as a basis (not necessarily the basis) for selection for university entrance
          • as preparation for university courses
      • To ensure comparability of qualifications offered by different awarding bodies
      • To work with other national bodies to achieve clarity and transparency for learners about what universities require
      • A fair deal for learners – including those who gained their qualifications in different years
  • 35. Ofqual’s University Challenge
        • Learners need clear and timely information about what is required for progression to HE courses
        • Are you clear about what you are looking for? Aptitude or attainment? Breadth or depth?
        • There must be rationality in the requirements of the same departments in different universities
        • Work with us to bring our systems closer together
  • 36. Consistency and change
    • Standards may have to change if qualifications are to be fit for purpose
    • BUT that needs to be in a context of consistency and stability
    • The currency of regulated qualifications MUST command confidence before, during and after changes are made
    • Transparent communication is crucial
    • An open box, not a black box
    • Piloting and learning lessons from the past
  • 37. Outline
    • The context
    • The report
          • How we will regulate
          • Fitness for purpose
          • Progression to university
        • Consistency and change
        • Looking forward
  • 38. Looking forward – for Ofqual
    • Complete the journey from transition to transformation
          • Placing responsibility with awarding organisations
          • Integrating our economic regulation role
    • Adapt to the new policy environment
    • Work with employers and Higher Education, and with their national representatives
          • Respect their position and their strengths
    • Provide stability, continuity and clear messages during change
    • Stick to our knitting – as a GOOD REGULATOR
  • 39. Using Qualifications: a view from Higher Education Professor Sir Robert Burgess Vice-Chancellor, University of Leicester Chair, UCAS Chief Regulator’s Report Launch 15 December 2010
  • 40. UCAS UK APPLICANTS 2010             Applicants   Accepts   % Accepted     2010   2010   2010 Total Applicants 583,272   421,288   72.2%               Qualifications A levels 367,899   285,327   77.6% A level only 264,524   208,140   78.7% A level and BTEC/OCR only 37,175   29,256   78.7% A level and other 66,200   47,931   72.4% No A levels 215,373   135,961   63.1% BTEC/OCR only 57,654   39,947   69.3% SQA Award only 35,416   24,799   70.0% Access only 12,397   8,074   65.1% Other 100,327   59,457   59.3% No qualifications 9,579   3,684   38.5%
  • 41. 1999 Entry – Accepts (UK domiciled) Source: UCAS Statistics Reviewed the way in which the Academy is moving forward as indicated in the recent letter and am confident that this will be the way forwar din difficult times.
  • 42. The Changing Profile of Accepted Applicants Source: UCAS Statistics
  • 43. 2010 Entry – Accepts (UK domiciled) Source: UCAS Statistics
  • 44. A Levels Accepts Source: UCAS Statistics
  • 45. Qualifications and University Entrance
    • Range and Flexibility of Qualifications
    • A Level no longer Dominates
    • Mixes of Qualifications offered by Students
    • Qualifications the Key to Successful Higher Education
    • Qualification: a Measure of Knowledge and Skills in the Programme of Study – what about potential? and suitability?
  • 46. The Value of Qualifications in Higher Education Entrance (1)
    • Admission based on Qualification plus Information, Personal Statement and Reference
    • Qualifications the most Important Indicator to Future Potential
    • The Power of Qualifications: student achievement at GCSE and AS/A2
    • The Power of Predicted Results: 80% of offers conditional on grades and qualifications
  • 47. The Value of Qualifications in Higher Education Entrance (2)
    • HE places High Value on Qualification Framework
    • Consistency of Standards
    • Fair and Transparent Assessment
    • Qualifications Framework in Schools and Colleges Fundamental to Admissions
  • 48. The Variety of Qualifications used by the University of Leicester
    • A levels International Baccalaureate
    • BTEC Access to HE Diplomas
    • Cambridge Pre –U AQA Baccalaureate
    • Advanced Diplomas Welsh Baccalaureate
    • Scottish Highers
    • Problem of Comparability - UCAS Tariff designed as a guide to appropriate comparisons
    • Tariff under Review
  • 49. Higher Education and Vocational Qualifications
    • Use of Vocational Qualifications depends on Course Type
    • Some Universities accept Vocational A Levels with Traditional Subjects
    • Some Universities offer Entrance to HE through Advanced Apprenticeship Schemes
  • 50. The Higher Education Sector, the Regulator, Awarding Organisations and Educators (1)
    • HE Expectations: picking winners – students who can benefit
    • Are A Levels Fit for Purpose?
    • Welcome Changes
    • Reduction to 4 Modules, Summative Assessment, less Coursework, A*, Extended Project
  • 51. The Higher Education Sector, the Regulator, Awarding Organisations and Educators (2)
    • Assessing Student Potential: the Challenge of Standardisation
    • Trusting Qualifications: fundamental to HE Entry and Assessing the Potential to Succeed
    • Some Key Questions:
      • The use of qualifications in the Leicester Record
      • The timing of qualifications and their use
  • 52. Overview and Next Steps Sandra Burslem Deputy Chair
  • 53. Introduction to the Seminar Sessions Francis Thomas Director of Internal and External Affairs
  • 54. The Seminars
        • 3 groups
          • Yellow - Meeting Room 1 with Jeremy Benson
          • Red - Meeting Room 2 with Dennis Opposs
          • Green - Meeting Room 4 with Fiona Pethick
        • Considering the seven principles
          • Do you agree that this should be a principle for Ofqual as the regulator?
          • What should be the outcome of Ofqual setting this as a principle?
          • What do you think Ofqual or those it regulates needs to do differently if this is a principle for the regulator?
  • 55.
    • Refreshments followed by seminar sessions