Ensuring the resilience of the qualifications system

ASCL response to the DfE and Ofqual consultation on ensuring the resilience of the qualifications system. 
The focus of this consultation, on ensuring the resilience of assessment regulation to major disruption, such as during the Covid pandemic, is important both for schools and colleges and for the young people they serve. There is mounting evidence to show that many children and young people were badly impacted, both during and the pandemic and in ongoing ways, as a result of an education system which was not resilient to the disruption. We know that some children and young people are still suffering in terms of their education achievements, and that others have mental health needs or behavioural difficulties which are not sufficiently supported by our poorly resourced health and social care systems. We also know that children and young people from disadvantaged groups are more likely to have suffered during the pandemic, and to be affected in ongoing ways. It is essential that this consultation results in realistic and achievable solutions which ensure a resilient assessment system, do not fall on schools and colleges to resource, and do not create any additional bureaucracy.

It is our view that the proposals in the consultation are, on balance, reasonable and proportionate, and largely achieve these aims. Although they would require some additional workload from centres, they align with most centres’ established assessment policies, and would provide a suitable evidence base if exams need to be cancelled in the future.

Full response to consultation