A level reform


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Tim Leslie’s speech on A level reform, Admissions to Competitive Courses conference, Queen Mary University of London, 13th June 201

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A level reform

  1. 1. A level reform Tim Leslie, Director of Strategic Reform 13th June 2014
  2. 2. Responsibilities for reform Government – Department for Education Overall policy on qualifications Content/curriculum development Exam boards Design and delivery of qualifications
  3. 3. Responsibilities for reform Ofqual Regulatory oversight – Standards – Purpose – Fairness Recognition and accreditation
  4. 4. Qualifications reform – our aim We want qualifications that properly prepare young people for their next steps in education or work, that represent a level playing field for all students and which give valid results people can have confidence in.
  5. 5. Purpose of qualifications The primary purpose of new GCSEs is to provide evidence of students’ achievements against demanding and fulfilling content, a strong foundation for further academic and vocational study and for employment. If required, they should be able to provide a basis for schools and colleges to be held accountable for the performance of all their students.
  6. 6. Purpose of qualifications A levels should: define and assess achievement of the knowledge, skills and understanding which will be needed by students planning to progress to undergraduate study at a UK higher education establishment, particularly (although not only) in the same subject area a strong foundation for further academic and vocational study and for employment set out a robust and internationally comparable post-16 academic course of study to develop that knowledge, skills and understanding permit UK universities to accurately identify the level of attainment of students provide a basis for school and college accountability measures at age 18 and provide a benchmark of academic ability for employers
  7. 7. GCSE reform decisions Structure – linear, exams in the summer (November resits for maths and English language for those aged 16+) Assessment –exam only where possible Tiering – only where necessary Grading – numbered scale from 1 to 9, 9 is the highest
  8. 8. GCSE reform decisions Subjects for teaching from September 2015: Maths - exam only, tiered English literature – exam only, not tiered English language – exam only, speaking assessment reported separately, not tiered
  9. 9. GCSE reform decisions Subjects for teaching from September 2016: Geography History Biology Chemistry Subject content for these already published by DfE – History and geography – assessment by exam only – Will be consulting on assessment arrangements for science Physics Combined science Modern foreign languages Ancient languages
  10. 10. GCSE reform decisions More subjects for teaching from September 2016: Religious studies Design and technology Art and design Drama – Curriculum and assessment arrangements to be consulted on later this year Music Physical education Computer science Citizenship studies
  11. 11. GCSE reform proposals – standard setting Standard setting consultation running now We propose: Current grade C = new grade 4 Same proportion of students who currently get A & A* will get new grade 7 or above New grade 9 awarded to smaller proportion than currently get A* Consultation events 17 June Birmingham 18 June Cambridge
  12. 12. A level reform decisions Subjects for teaching from September 2015: English language English literature English language and literature Biology Chemistry Physics Psychology Computer science Business History Art and design Economics Sociology
  13. 13. A level reform decisions Assessment arrangements Non-exam assessment in: – 20% in English language, English literature, English language and literature, computer science and history – Art and design, 100% non-exam assessment Exam only in: – Biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, business, economics, sociology – Requirement in the sciences to undertake a minimum of 12 practical activities, which will be assessed and reported separately on qualification certificate
  14. 14. A level reform decisions Subjects for teaching from September 2016: Maths Further maths Geography Modern foreign languages Ancient languages Religious studies – Consultations on content and assessment arrangements to come Design and technology Drama Dance Music Physical education
  15. 15. GCSE & A level reform decisions The range of GCSE, AS and A level subjects Our proposal – GCSEs, AS qualifications and A levels should not be limited to the subjects where Government makes sure content is developed. For other subjects, we propose exam boards take the lead – Develop common content – Make sure they are at appropriate level of demand and fulfil purpose – Offer distinct subjects – Make new qualifications available for teaching in September 2017 Consultation - http://comment.ofqual.gov.uk/completing-gcse-as-and-a-level-reform/
  16. 16. AS qualification reform decisions Standalone – does not count towards the A level grade Assessment – by exam only where possible, at end of course except art and design, 100% non-exam assessment Co-teachable – can be taught alongside first year of A level Demand – less demanding than an A level, as now
  17. 17. Talk to us Email us info@ofqual.gov.uk Phone us 0300 303 3346 Tweet us @ofqual Find our consultations on our website www.ofqual.gov.uk