The JCQ awarding organisations warmly welcome the Government’s recognition that more needs to be done to ensure exams and assessments in 2021 remain as fair as possible to all students.
Dr Philip Wright, Director General of JCQ, said: “We share the Government’s belief that exams and assessments are the best way to assess students’ abilities and provide a fair and level playing field for progression into Higher Education, Further Education and employment.
“We believe that the vast majority of students will be able to complete their full set of exam assessments and, with the contingency papers should be able to complete at least one form of exam or assessment to allow a grade to be awarded.”
“JCQ will need to reflect with DfE and Ofqual in the New Year on when and how ‘validated teacher informed assessment’ would be used.”
Dr Wright continued: “We are pleased to see that Government has recognised that an equitable approach needs to be taken for similar vocational and technical qualifications where the purpose of the assessment is comparable, to ensure a level playing field for progression.
“The Government will also convene an expert group to look at the impact of lost teaching time in different groups of students. We welcome this approach and look forward to engaging with DfE and Ofqual along with stakeholders, but note that time is of the essence for this group to make its recommendations early in 2021.”
Following the measures announced today, all students should be able to complete each of their exam components or at a minimum one exam component in those rare instances where the need to self-isolate or Covid-related illness is evidenced.
JCQ believes the mix of advance notice of topics in exams, provision of support materials during exams where appropriate and contingencies to ensure students should be able to complete all, or at least one exam or assessment means students will be treated as fairly as possible.
We recognise that teachers and schools would benefit from more information, and JCQ is committed to providing this at the earliest opportunity.
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