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Ofqual Update 2017 (England)

In March, Ofqual announced which subjects would be reformed for first teaching in September 2017.  At the time, Ofqual identified 8 subjects, in which they lacked confidence for further development. Exam Boards were subsequently asked to submit additional information illustrating how these subjects met the Ofqual GCSE, AS and A level qualification principles.  These 8 subjects were:

  • GCSE Environmental and Land-Based Science
  • GCSE Geology
  • GCSE Health and Social Care
  • GCSE Home Economics: Child Development
  • AS and A level Creative Writing
  • AS and A level Health and Social Care
  • AS and A level International Development
  • AS and A level Music Technology

This morning, Ofqual has made a further announcement stating that of the 8, only 4 of these subjects will be moved forward onto the next stage of development.   The reform development work on the following 4 subjects will continue:

  • GCSE Geology
  • AS and A level Creative Writing
  • AS and A level Health and Social Care
  • AS and A level Music Technology

WJEC is delighted that GCSE Geology plus AS & A level Health and Social Care – subjects currently offered by WJEC - are included on the list of qualifications for continued development.

Conversely, WJEC is disappointed that the following subjects will NOT be reformed for 2017:

  • GCSE Health and Social Care
  • GCSE Home Economics: Child Development
  • AS and A level International Development (based on World Development)

A significant amount of work has been undertaken by colleagues and stakeholders in support of these subjects and we are disappointed that Ofqual felt these did not meet their principles.

As stipulated in their announcement, the Ofqual principles state that they will only support the development of reformed GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in subjects that:

  1. are consistent with the primary purpose of a GCSE, AS or A level as defined in our General Conditions of Recognition;
  2. are capable of securing a comparable level of demand to other reformed subjects;
  3. can secure valid assessment, including reliability and manageability;
  4. can be assessed in a way that differentiates reliably across the full grade range;
  5. and that are based on content that is sufficiently distinct from other reformed subjects.

WJEC would like to reassure schools and colleges that the ongoing support for the teaching of these qualifications will continue until their final assessment opportunity in the summer of 2018 (dates of final resit opportunities to be confirmed).

The full list of GCSE, AS and A level qualifications being reformed for 2017 can be found in the Ofqual announcement.

The full list of GCSE, AS and A level qualifications to be discontinued can also be found in the Ofqual announcement