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Ofqual questioned on summer exam results

25 August 2020

The Education Committee questions officials from the exams regulator Ofqual on the errors made in the process of awarding this summer’s exam grades and how students who have been adversely impacted are now being supported.

Witnesses

Wednesday 2 September 2020, virtual meeting

At 9.45am

  • Roger Taylor, Chair, Ofqual
  • Dr Michelle Meadows, Executive Director for Strategy, Risk and Research, Ofqual
  • Julie Swan, Executive Director for General Qualifications, Ofqual

The Government announced four days after A and AS level results day that students would receive centre assessed grades for both GCSE and A and AS levels, after widespread criticism that Ofqual’s standardisation model had resulted in too many unfair and inconsistent outcomes for students.

The Committee will question Ofqual Chair Roger Taylor and officials on what went wrong in the awarding of grades, where responsibility lies and how and why problems with the standardisation model were not identified earlier.

MPs are also likely to ask what steps are being taken to support students, schools and colleges who have lost out because of the standardisation model and subsequent U-turn, and about lessons learnt to ensure a fair system should exams be cancelled in the future.

Ofqual developed the system for awarding grades after this summer’s exams were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 11, a report from the Education Committee warned that the system could be unfair on certain groups, including disadvantaged students. The Committee called on Ofqual to publish its standardisation model.

Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson MP is also likely to face questions about the summer exams when he appears before the Committee for a regular accountability session on 16 September.

Further information