Education CommitteeFurther written evidence submitted by Ofqual (Annex B)


Ofqual welcomes the Daily Telegraph journalists’ shining light on an area of concern that we raised publicly and wrote to Ministers about in November. The immediate steps we have taken are focussed on safeguarding future examinations, particularly those to be taken in January; requiring awarding organisations to review their own policies and practices to ensure that all seminar delivery meets the regulatory requirements. The Committee will be aware that our priorities for our healthy markets work include a review of the supporting materials provided to teachers by awarding organisations including seminars, text books and web based materials.

Ofqual’s specific actions in the past week to investigate and follow up these allegations include:

1.Convening an immediate meeting with the Chief Executives of the four awarding organisations, AQA, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC.

2.Writing to each awarding organisation (under formal notice) to require:

information about the role of examiners, the controls in place around seminars and the management of conflicts of interest;

confirmation about the security and integrity of January and summer exams;

confirmation that all seminars/guidance/published materials do not narrow the breadth or depth of study; and

data used by the awarding organisations in considering comparability.

3.Securing the evidence from the Daily Telegraph which is now being transcribed and checked.

4.Shared actions and responses with fellow regulators in Wales and Northern Ireland.

5.Announced to awarding organisations our review of the role of such seminars which they all welcomed.

About Ofqual

Ofqual is the regulator for qualifications in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. Ofqual regulates the organisations that deliver qualifications and assessments. Ofqual has responsibility for maintaining standards in qualifications and examinations.

January 2012

Prepared 2nd July 2012