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27 April 2012
Ofqual today announces new rules for teacher seminars for GCSEs and A levels. Also announced today is a review of the future role of controlled assessment in GCSEs.
Face to face seminars which relate directly to specific, named qualifications will stop from 31 August 2013. Additional controls to ensure the security and standard of qualifications will be in place during the transition period.
Glenys Stacey, Ofqual's Chief Regulator, comments: “The new rules will make sure that schools and teachers have access to the information they need to understand the exams their pupils are taking. However they should not get privileged information by attending face to face events with those who set the questions.
“We know the value of teachers interacting with experts from exam boards, but we have concluded that there are better ways for information to be shared, such as live on-line events or 'webinars'. These methods can easily be made available to all teachers, not just those who can attend meetings.”
Face-to-face training for teachers who mark controlled assessment work will be acceptable, with the proper safeguards, to ensure that their marking is of a consistently high quality. Events which introduce brand new specifications to teachers will also be allowed with adequate controls in place.
Ofqual is also announcing a review of the role of controlled assessment in GCSEs, in response to concerns raised by schools and teachers about the practicalities of delivering it and the advice and guidance provided to them.
The review will consider the role of controlled assessment subject by subject. We want valid assessments that support best teaching and learning. We will be seeking the views of schools, teachers and others as part of this work. GCSE awarding organisations have been asked to review their guidance and a revised version of the joint JCQ instructions for conducting controlled assessment will be issued for September
Findings of the review will be considered during the future development of GCSEs.