Download the full outcome
Detail of outcome
We set out in this document the decisions we have taken on the assessment arrangements for these subjects. The Department for Education has also confirmed the content requirements for them and our decisions have been confirmed in relation to this final content.
Detail of feedback received
- Based on responses to the Likert-scale questions (‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’), the majority of respondents are in agreement with Ofqual’s proposals with respect to the majority of subjects. These findings should be treated with caution given the considerable differences in base respondent numbers per subject.
- Most respondents generally support Ofqual’s proposals not to tier these subjects, with the main arguments being that this will open up opportunities for all students to achieve the best possible grades and that there is already a successful track record of these subjects not having been tiered in the past.
- The most common area of disagreement relates to Ofqual’s proposals to reduce the proportion of non-exam assessment for certain subjects following their reform.
- Subjects where there is greatest concern associated with reducing the proportion of non-exam assessment include GCSE business, AS and A level environmental science, GCSE geology, and AS and A level music technology.
- For the above-mentioned subjects, official responses from subject associations and schools, as well as personal responses from teachers, are the main sources of objection to these proposals.
- For GCSE business, respondents have argued how coursework and controlled assessment promote research and investigation skills, including customer research, and enable their learning to be linked to the real business world.
- For GCSE geology, non-exam assessment is considered important to assessing the types of practical skills that form the basis of a career in this field.
- For AS and A level environmental science, it was pointed out that not including a practical component would be at odds with other core science-based qualifications, potentially implying that practical work is less valuable in this subject.
- For AS and A level music technology, respondents emphasised the importance of assessing the practical processes involved and that the subject needs to more closely resemble the world of work with greater focus on non-exam assessment.
- A number of specific suggestions have been given for enhancing the assessment objectives in certain subjects – primarily by awarding organisations and subject associations. These are set out in the main body of the report.
- Comments on the equality impact of Ofqual’s proposals principally focused on the need to ensure sufficient provisions are in place to support students with mental health and learning disabilities such as dyslexia, specifically where exam-based assessments can prove more challenging than project-based work.
This consultation is about developing new GCSEs, AS and A levels for first teaching in September 2017.
The will be further consultation on the development of other GCSE and AS and A level subjects at a later date.
The subjects covered in this consultation are listed in the table below:
|GCSEs||AS and A levels|
|Astronomy||Design and Technology|
|Economics||History of Art|
The Department for Education are consulting on proposed content in these subjects.