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The Government and Ofqual respond to exam cancellation and calculated grades report

24 September 2020

The Education Committee has published responses from the Government and Ofqual to the report on exam cancellation and calculated grades.

The report, published by the Committee in July 2020, came as part of a wider inquiry into the impact of COVID 19 on education and children’s services which began in March this year.

It concluded that Ofqual must publish a full programme of evaluation, be completely transparent with its standardisation model, explore whether calculated grades were biased against students with protected characteristics and provide clear guidelines on how to appeal for students unhappy with their results.

In September, the Committee held separate oral evidence sessions with both the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson MP and Ofqual, represented by its chair Roger Taylor, during which many of the issues outlined in the report were discussed.

Chair's comment

Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Committee, said:

“The Committee has consistently called for Ofqual to commit to greater transparency, so it is remains highly disappointing that they did not commit to publishing the algorithm used for standardising grades and open it up to public scrutiny. A quicker and more positive response to our recommendations would have prevented a lot of the problems with this year’s exams that led to so much stress for students and their families. What is important now is to look ahead. Both Ofqual and the DfE must show they have learnt the lessons from the past six months and ensure as much certainty and fairness as possible for exams and assessments next year and beyond."

Further information

Image: PA