Ofqual 2021 exam grading system


A traffic light system could sit alongside grades for 2021 to signify levels of lost learning, Ofqual’s interim chief regulator has said.

Dame Glenys Stacey told the education select committee that a teacher rating system using red, amber and green (RAG) could be implemented to showcase pupils worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, she suggested it would be included within the grade or appear on their qualification certificate.

The government is yet to officially announce how it will tackle the issue of pupils being impacted to a different degree by the pandemic, although an expert panel is assessing some of the options available.

Could a traffic light system provide the answer?

Dame Glenys said that Ofqual is recommending that teachers in some subjects may be able to use a RAG rating, whereby green is indicative of favourable learning conditions and red of unfavourable or lost learning. Amber is neutral.

“The qualification grade could tell the user what knowledge and understanding of the subject that student had so that grade serves its purpose,” she explained. “Alongside it there could be another measure of differential lost learning.”

She said the issue is complicated as there are many factors which can impact on a child’s ability to learn from home, so questions need to be asked as to whether other qualitative information can be used too.

“We’re trying to protect the purpose of the qualification and the grade, but also absolutely recognise that more needs to be done to reflect the lost learning of this generation,” Dame Glenys added.

Steps to make exams fairer for pupils in 2021 include implementing more generous marking and allowing them to know certain topics ahead of the tests.

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