I have just finished working my way through Ofqual’s consultation report on the way that assessments will look, from their perspective for 2020/21. I have to say it isn’t an easy read, but there are some clear messages for me that I wanted to share.
1. It is extremely unlikely that there will be an aggregated grade process again. Ofqual expects that assessments will be completed in a manner that meets any restrictions and seems to favour extended length of learning programmes (calendar wise) to accommodate this.
2. Adjustments to assessments are being driven by awarding organisations, who will work under a loose framework set down by Ofqual because Ofqual believes that they ‘are best placed to determine the appropriate adaptations for the assessments they offer.’ Therefore the need to communicate with your AO is essential.
3. GCSEs and A levels are not falling within the same parameters for these adjustments for this next academic year.
4. The development of an online offer and learner’s possessing a sound basic set of digital skills is even more important.
There appears to be a thought process that content should be reduced to allow for less teaching to take place because of the restrictions that some may face. My personal feeling on this is that an approach like this would be a dangerous dilution of qualifications that could not only reduce the value of some key post 16 qualifications with employers but also disadvantage learners from having the full training that is recognised as being necessary within a qualification and learning programme.
Of course, adjustments need to be made, but they should be supportive of ensuring that the learners get the qualification that they need to progress with their career.
I appreciate that assessments, especially those of a more practical nature, can be more challenging, if not impossible, under the current climate, but there is surely no need to reduce the teaching aspect. We have seen major breakthroughs in recent weeks with how learning can be delivered online, so surely this is the way forward.
Of course, there are some learners who will struggle with the technology, but surely we have a duty of care to help them develop the skills they need and support them to be able to access the equipment etc., they need to fully engage with their learning programme.
The post 16 education sector is a different animal than pre 16, most learners want to learn in order to progress with their career goals and aspirations. I believe it is our responsibility to adjust what we are doing to best help and teach them what they need to know.
Here is the link to the full publication https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-the-assessment-and-awarding-of-vocational-technical-and-other-general-qualifications-in-2020-to-2021
Christine Edwards QTLS Creating Excellence