The exam regulator in the UK, Ofqual, has confirmed the numerous approaches they are set to apply regarding different types of qualifications waiting to happen in the summer of 2020. Previously, Ofqual has announced that exams, like GCSEs, AS and A levels, will be assessed through calculated results. On its latest announcement, the exam regulator has also given information for vocational and technical qualifications (VTQ) this summer.
According to the new decision, students should receive calculated results for qualifications, such as GCSEs, AS and A levels, which are necessary for progression to further or higher education. The aim is to make sure that each student is able to progress to higher education and that the education sector faces as little disruption as possible. At the moment, education in the UK is being made possible with the help of online classes and video conferences.
The new announcement specifies that awarding organizations should adapt the delivery model, to make sure assessments can be completed under the current public health restrictions for qualifications which are primarily used to signal occupational competence. Ofqual argues that it would not be appropriate for learners of this category to receive grades that are calculated since they will be assessed on the skills that they have on specific occupations.
Among the different categories of vocational and technical qualifications (VTQ), the qualifications with a mixed purpose have the possibility of being awarded through calculated grades or adapted assessment. The decision on how these qualifications will be graded falls largely on the awarding organizations (AO). They should decide on the most appropriate approach to deliver results which are reliable and correct, while Ofqual will monitor these arrangements.
Furthermore, Ofqual has proposed that in cases when students are unable to receive results this summer, they should have an opportunity to enter an exam on the autumn term. Where assessment organisations usually offer autumn assessment, they should continue to do so through reasonable steps. While those that do not offer autumn assessment opportunities should consider doing so when there is a considerable number of students who could not receive qualifications.
Ofqual expects assessment organisations (AO) to collaborate with providers in the best interest of students. In order to help with the facilitation of the vocational and technical qualifications, the exam regulator has launched an interactive tool which allows students to search for specific regulated qualifications and find how results will be generated. Education in the UK is currently proceeding on an online basis, with the majority of classes being conducted virtually. Grading, however, has been a point of discussion ever since the outbreak.
So as to achieve minimal disruptions to the education sector, Ofqual has decided that students can be graded, in GCSEs, AS and A levels, through calculated grades and pieces of information that the school or college sends about students. Calculated grades are a result of students’ achievements throughout the course of study as well as the grades teachers think students would get if they were to enter the exam. This information will help create an equal standard for all schools, and all grades will hold the same value. (Read more about calculated grades here).