Ofqual calls push of standardised grade system a “fundamental mistake”

The exam regulator for England, Ofqual, has said that pushing out an emergency system to release exam results was a “fundamental mistake”. 

According to the Chairman, Roger Taylor, Ofqual advised the government to delay summer examinations or sit them with social distancing measures in place. Calculated grades were to be used if these options weren’t viable, Ofqual said. Taylor said Education Secretary Gavin Williamson cancelled exams without discussions with the regulator.

Other options after exams were cancelled included using teacher and school-based grades or a mix of school-based grades and the standardisation method.

Teacher-assessed grades were used instead after the government made a last-minute U-turn because of public backlash on applying a standardisation system to calculate A-Level and GCSE students’ grades. Sally Collier, Chief Regulator (Ofqual) stepped down after the chaos along with Jonathan Slater, senior civil servant.